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UPD Cargo vessel RAPTOR sinks off Lesvos; 12 sailors missing, 1 rescued, 1 dead

A big Search And Rescue operation is underway South-West off the island of Lesvos after cargo vessel RAPTOR sank early Sunday morning. Of the 14 crew members onboard, so far, one sailor was spotted alive and he was picked up from a navy helicopter.


The rescued sailor was taken to the hospital of Mytilene, media reported adding that he managed to survive in the rough, cold sea on a barrel. It was initially reported that he was an Indian national, later an Egyptian one.

His life is not in danger, he may be released on Monday and give testimony about the shipwreck.

Video: survivor transfer to hospital

On board of the cargo vessel were reportedly 14 crew members including two Syrian nationals, 1 Indian  and 11 Egyptians.

Later on Sunday, the body of a missing crew member was recovered from the sea. No more detail were given to public.

The SAR continued also after the falling of darkness. UPDATE END

The cargo ship declared mechanical failure at 7 am and at 8:20 the ship’s master reported some heeling by activating a “mayday, mayday” distress signal to passing vessels and then disappeared from the radar.

The RAPTOR carried 6 tons salt from Alexandria, Egypt to Istanbul, Turkey. Estimates indicate that probably due to the strong waves  caused by powerful 8 Beaufort north-western winds water poured into the holds, causing it to tilt due to the heavier load and sink 4 nautical miles off Lesvos.

The big SAR continues Sunday noon with the participation of coast guard boats, air force and navy helicopters, a frigate and five cargo ships that were in the area.

General cargo vessel RAPTOR was carrying a Comoros flag and its managing company is based in Lebanon.

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