A Russian freight ship has sunk off the coast of Turkey's Black Sea province of Bartin and two crew members have been found dead at sea, the local governor was cited as saying by state media on Sunday.
Bartin Governor Sinan Guner said the dry cargo ship, ARVIN, sank off the coast of the Inkumu region in poor weather, according to the state-owned Anadolu news agency. He said five of the 13 crew members had been rescued so far.
The cause of the incident was not immediately clear. "So far, five people have been rescued. The lifeless bodies of two people were pulled onto the (rescue) boat," the governor was quoted as saying.
Guner said rescue operations were underway despite the poor weather conditions, which initially saw rescuers struggling to reach the crew. He added civilian ships had also been asked to help.
He said lifeboats carrying the crew members, all of whom are Russian nationals, could be seen 600-700 metres from the shore and that a Navy vessel had been deployed to reach them. "In case there is an opportunity to fly, we requested a helicopter," he said.
The Turkish defence ministry confirmed it had deployed a vessel to help with the rescue operations.