3 Syrians dead, 3 missing as Ukraine-bound ship sinks off Turkey’s coast

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Turkish rescuers recovered three bodies and saved eight crew members of a Ukraine-bound cargo ship that sank near Turkey’s Mediterranean coast on Wednesday, Turkish public broadcaster TRT reported. Three other staff members are missing.

The ship sent an SOS signal at 3:47 local time with 14 crew members on board, the Turkish Coast Guard Command said in a statement. The Guinea-Bissau-flagged ship Joe 2 was en route to the Ukrainian port of Izmail on the Danube from the Turkish Mediterranean port of Iskenderun when it sank 22 miles (35 kilometers) off the coast of the resort province of Antalya , the statement said.

The cause of the shipwreck was not immediately clear, but the office of the chief prosecutor for Kumluca launched an investigation into the incident.

The vessel was laden with aluminum, according to Turkish media reports.

The Turkish coast guard alerted emergency boats and helicopters as well as merchant ships in the area, which managed to rescue eight crew members when stormy weather hit the waves. However, the rescue efforts have been delayed by the storm, Turkey’s Anadolu agency reported.

Turkey’s Dogan news agency identified two of the injured men as Mmod Smea and Gadır Shaaban, who are being treated in intensive care.

All 14 crew members are Syrian nationals, according to the coast guard.

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