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Freighter sinks off Turkish coast, 9 crew missing
Officials: 9 crew missing after freighter ship sinks off Turkey's Black Sea coast
By The Associated Press

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) ' Turkish Coast Guard boats were searching for nine crew members after a Cambodia-flagged freighter ship sank in stormy seas off Turkey's Black Sea coast on Tuesday, officials said. Two other crew members were rescued.

The ship "Vera" was sailing to Turkey's Aliaga port from Russia when it sank off the coast of Eregli during a storm, Gov. Erol Ayyildiz said. He said police were also searching the shore for the missing crewmen.

Ayyildiz initially said 10 crew were missing and that they were Polish nationals. But the Maritime Affairs Directorate later said there were 10 Ukrainians and one Georgian crew aboard the ship, which was carrying scrap metal.

Those rescued were the ship's second and third captains, the directorate said in a statement. At least three tug boats had joined the search-and-rescue effort, it added.

"By the time the Coast Guard arrived in response to the distress call, the ship had already sunk," Irfan Erdem, head of the Chamber of Commerce for the region, told Turkey's NTV television.

He said a storm likely caused the ship's cargo to shift, tilting the vessel to the side and causing it to take on water.

The accident occurred some 10 days after another cargo ship brushed against two anchored vessels during severe weather off the coast of Istanbul, taking on water for hours before authorities were forced to pull it ashore using a tug boat.

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