Two Syrian sailors were killed and another eight are missing after a cargo ship carrying fertilizer collided with a container vessel early today off southwestern Greece.
The Cook Islands-flagged Pirireis cargo ship sank after colliding with the Antigua and Bermuda-flagged container vessel Consouth at about 6 a.m. local time, according to a Greek Coastguard spokeswoman, who declined to be named citing departmental policy. The cause of the accident is not yet known.
The dead and missing sailors were part of a 17-member crew on the Pirireis, which was sailing from Algeria to Ukraine. The Consouth was sailing without cargo from Turkey to Malta and had a 16-man crew comprising 10 Poles, five Russians and one Filipino, none of whom was hurt, the Coastguard spokeswoman said.
Greek Coastguard vessels, a Navy helicopter, an Air Force plane and five commercial ships that were in the area near Sapienza Island are carrying out a search and rescue operation for the missing seamen, the Coastguard said.
While the Pirireis was formerly a Turkish ship, it has since been sold to an Arab sheik, a spokesman for Turkey’s Transportation, Maritime and Communication Ministry said today by phone. The Consouth is owned by Germany-based Reederei Erwin Strahlmann, according to Bloomberg data.