A dry cargo ship carrying grain from southern Russia to Turkey capsized Wednesday during a storm in the Black Sea and one of the 12 crew members on board has been rescued, Russian emergency services said, while two others were found dead.
Nine Ukrainians, two Russians and one Georgian were aboard the Geroy Arsenala (Heroes of Arsenal) when it capsized off Crimea, near Kerch Strait, the ministry said in a statement. The rescued sailor was from Ukraine.
"The lifeless bodies of two crew members were lifted onboard a rescue boat," a spokeswoman for the Crimea branch of Russia's emergencies ministry, Yekaterina Miroshnichenko, told AFP.
"The search and rescue operation continues."
A search was underway for the remaining crew members, but emergency services said that high waves and strong winds were hampering the operation.
According to the Russian Federal Marine and River Transport Agency, the Panama-flagged ship belonged to a Turkish company, and split in half during a severe storm, TASS reported.
The ship left the port city of Azov loaded with grain and capsized early Wednesday near the Kerch Strait. It was carrying up to 30 tons of oil products in its hold, raising concerns of environmental damage,according to Russian TASS news agency.