A rescue operation is under way after Volgo Balt 199 cargo ship sank in the Black Sea near the Turkish city of Istanbul.
Twelve crew members were on board the Volgo Balt 199 – reportedly 11 Ukrainian nationals, and one Russian.
Turkish media report that three people have been rescued and one person has died but this has not been confirmed.
The Volgo Balt 199 sank off the town of Sile, in Istanbul province to the east of the city. A second ship is said to be in difficulty amid stormy weather.
Fourteen crew members are said to be on board the second boat, which television footage showed listing heavily in swollen seas.
The Volgo Balt 199, which was sailing under the flag of St Kitts and Nevis, was transporting coal.
“We confirmed that the ship sank. Work continues to rescue 12 people on board,” Salih Orakci, head of the Directorate General of Coastal Safety, told Turkish TV, according to the Reuters news agency.
He said rescue boats and helicopters were involved in the search for Volgo Balt 199′s missing crew, and tug boats had been dispatched to try to help the second ship.
“The sea conditions are very rough which is making the rescue operation very difficult,” he said of the second ship.
“[But] God willing, we will save that ship.”