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Major Rescue Operation Underway as Cargo Ship Sinks Near Lesbos Amidst Gale-Force Winds

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Safak Costu
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Major Rescue Operation Underway as Cargo Ship Sinks Near Lesbos Amidst Gale-Force Winds

In an unfortunate turn of events, a cargo ship flying under the Comoros flag with 14 crew members sank near the island of Lesbos as gale-force winds whipped the sea. The Greek coast guard confirmed the incident on Sunday, instigating a large-scale rescue mission to save the crew members. State-run television network, Ert, reported the rescue of one crew member by an intervening navy helicopter.

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Rescue Efforts Underway

The unfolding rescue operation saw the involvement of several sea and air units, including five cargo ships, three coast guard vessels, multiple air force and navy helicopters, and a navy frigate. The incident occurred around 4.5 nautical miles southwest of Lesbos, with the ship carrying a cargo load of salt from Dekheila, Egypt, intended for Istanbul's port.

The crew comprised two Syrians, four Indians, and eight Egyptians, highlighting the international character of maritime operations.

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Severe Weather Conditions

The incident took place amidst severe weather conditions, with wind speeds hitting gale to storm force levels on the Beaufort scale. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service had previously issued a warning about the incoming Storm Oliver (also known as Bettina) from the Adriatic Sea.

The sinking of the cargo ship underscores the inherent risks of maritime operations, especially during adverse weather conditions. It brings into focus the need for robust safety measures to navigate such challenging situations.

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Implications for Maritime Safety

The incident raises questions about the protocols in place for traversing through severe weather conditions. It underscores the need for a robust preparedness strategy to mitigate the risks associated with adverse weather and potential emergencies at sea.

Details regarding the ship's condition, the cause of the sinking, and the status of the rest of the crew members remain undisclosed. The incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable and hazardous nature of maritime transportation. It underlines the importance of thorough investigations to determine contributing factors and implement measures to prevent similar occurrences in the future.

In conclusion, the sinking of the cargo ship off the coast of Lesbos is a poignant reminder of the inherent challenges and risks of maritime operations. It underscores the importance of swift and coordinated response efforts, continuous evaluation of safety protocols, and preparedness to ensure the well-being of crew members and the integrity of maritime transport.

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