One dead, 12 missing after cargo ship sinks in Black Sea off Turkey

Kafkametler in 2021 (Photo: Gorgorinis)

One person is confirmed dead while 12 others have been reported as missing after a cargo vessel sank in a storm in the Black Sea off the Turkish port city of Eregli on Sunday, November 19.

The locally-registered general cargo vessel Kafkametler was manoeuvring to seek shelter following the onset of bad weather in the area when it drifted towards a nearby breakwater, sinking shortly afterwards.

Winds with speeds approaching 75 knots and strong waves hampered the subsequent search and rescue (SAR) effort, forcing officials to suspend operations until the following morning.

Local media reported that the body of a deceased individual was found washed ashore near Eregli on Monday, November 20. Officials have confirmed this victim’s identity the 62-year-old cook of the sunken vessel.

SAR divers equipped with remotely operated vehicles have since begun combing through the compartments on Kafkametler, which lies at a depth of 25 metres, to attempt to locate any trace of the 12 missing sailors.

A member of the Turkish parliament has requested the country’s transport minister to look into reports that the vessel had a history of compliance deficiencies and that it had been allowed to leave port despite the worsening weather in the area.

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