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Cargo ship ‘Raptor’ sinks off Greek island, 13 crew members missing

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ATHENS : A cargo ship carrying salt sank off the Greek island of Lesbos on Sunday, with all but one of its 14-strong crew still missing, the Greek coast guard said. The Comoros-flagged ship “Raptor” had departed from El Dekheila Port in Egypt and was sailing to Istanbul when it reported a mechanical failure and issued a distress call early on Sunday, the Greek coast guard said.

Eight of the crew were Egyptians and the rest were Syrian and Indian nationals. The coast guard had rescued one person, who was airlifted by helicopter in gale force winds. She said that eight merchant ships, two helicopters and one Greek navy frigate were searching for survivors. Three coast guard vessels had difficulty reaching the area because of rough seas, she added. The spokesperson spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case was ongoing, and she wasn’t authorized to speak to the media.

Northwesterly winds in excess of 80 kph (50 mph) are blowing in the area, the national weather service said.

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