ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish authorities on Wednesday launched a search-and-rescue mission after a cargo ship disappeared in the Black Sea, near the coast of Istanbul, and is believed to have sunk, officials said.
The vessel, the Turkish-flagged 78-meter (256-foot) Bilal Bal, issued a distress signal in the early hours of Wednesday before disappearing off the coast of Istanbul's Sile district, according to the ministry in charge of transportation, maritime affairs and communication.
There were 10 crew members aboard, all of them Turkish citizens, the ministry said in a statement.
The vessel was transporting iron ore from the port of Gemlik, in the Sea of Marmara, to the Turkish Black Sea port of Eregli.
A coast guard plane, a helicopter and several rescue boats were dispatched to the area. Rescuers found life buoys and rafts in the area where the vessel is believed to have sunk, the statement said.