ANKARA, Turkey - A Turkish cargo ship and its 12 crew are missing in a storm off the northwest coast of the country, Turkish authorities said Sunday.
The Kafkametler vessel sent out a distress signal at 10:29 am (0729 GMT), according to a subdivision of the ministry of transport, which added that it gave off its last signal off the northwestern city of Eregli.
"Our efforts to contact the vessel and its crew have been unsuccessful," the General Directorate of Maritime Affairs said.
"Due to bad weather, it is currently impossible to reach the vessel's location or establish close visual contact. Search and rescue efforts using air and sea vehicles will be launched as soon as the weather permits," it added.
Twelve crew are on board the cargo ship, which was transporting ferrosilicon from the Russian port of Temryuk to Aliaga in Turkey.
The captain said in his last communication with authorities that the ship was drifting towards a breakwater off Eregli.
Violent storms and strong winds hit many parts of Turkey on Sunday, particularly ravaging the northwest where two coastal towns experienced flood damage.
Another ship registered in Cameroon broke in two due to violent waves off the coast of Eregli, after all its crew had been safely evacuated.