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Greece: one dead crew member of sunk freighter retrieved; one rescued, 12 missing

The body of a crew member of a freighter which sank off the island of Lesvos early Sunday has been retrieved, the coast guard says. Twelve more are missing.

The body has been transported to Mytilene, the island capital, for identification, the Coast Guard said.

One sailor of the freighter “Raptor” that sank off the island of Lesvos in the East Aegean early on Sunday was rescued by a Hellenic Navy helicopter, while a search is ongoing for the rest of the crew.

The freighter sailed under the Comoros Islands flag and is managed by a company based in Lebanon. It was carrying salt from Alexandria, Egypt to Istanbul with 14 crew – 4 Indian nationals, 8 Egyptians and 2 Syrians. At 7 a.m. on Sunday morning, it notified it had a mechanical failure. At 8.20 a.m., the captain said the ship was listing (when a vessel takes on water and tilts to one side) and activated the “mayday, mayday” emergency call to nearby ships. The ship then disappeared off the radars.

Early assessments said the ship met with a rough sea in the Aegean – with northwesterly winds registering 8 on the Beaufort scale – and may have started taking in water, which would have contributed to its listing and subsequent sinking.

Assisting the search and rescue in the area are several merchant ships, two helicopters, one from the Navy and one from the Air Force, as well as a Greek Navy frigate

Source: Kathimerini/AMNA