Europe Large deployment in Greece to rescue 13 people after the shipwreck of a cargo ship off the island of Lesbos

An extensive rescue operation is underway this Sunday in Greece to try to save 13 crew members from a cargo ship wrecked off the coast of the island of Lesbos, amid strong winds

Europe Large deployment in Greece to rescue 13 people after the shipwreck of a cargo ship off the island of Lesbos

An extensive rescue operation is underway this Sunday in Greece to try to save 13 crew members from a cargo ship wrecked off the coast of the island of Lesbos, amid strong winds.

Fourteen people were on board the "RAPTOR", a 106 meter long freighter flying the flag of the Comoros Islands, when at 07:00 (05:00 GMT) it reported that it had a mechanical breakdown. An hour later she activated the Mayday emergency warning and disappeared from radar, according to authorities. But despite the violent winds in the area, one of the crew members was able to be rescued with a Navy helicopter and taken to a hospital in Lesvos.

"I was in a state of shock," coast guard spokesman Nikos Alexiou told AFP, without giving further details. At the moment, the situation of the other 13 crew members was not revealed.

Five ships, three coast guard vessels, two Navy and Air Force helicopters and a frigate have been deployed in the ongoing rescue operation.

According to authorities, the "RAPTOR" was transporting shipments of salt, and set sail from the port of Dekheilan, in Egypt, bound for Istanbul, its final destination. This ship, built in 1984, sank about 4.5 nautical miles (8.3 km) southwest of the island of Lesbos.

The crew consists of two Syrians, one Indian and 11 Egyptians, according to the Greek news agency ANA, citing the Lebanon-based company that operates the ship. A previous statement from the coast guard reported four Indians and eight Egyptians.

According to the ANA agency, water would have infiltrated massively into the "RAPTOR" due to the rough waves, adding to the already significant weight of the cargo.

In several parts of Greece, boats had to stay in docks this weekend due to gusts of wind, which reached level 9-10 on the Beaufort scale, which goes up to 12. In other European countries, starting out of 7 weather conditions are considered dangerous.

The Greek meteorological services had issued an alert for this weekend, which on Saturday reached the level of "dangerous climate phenomenon." Storm Oliver, also called Bettina, is moving from the Adriatic Sea towards Greece.

In mid-November, violent winds had damaged a warship off the Greek coast that was used during the resistance to the military junta in power from 1967 to 1974.

In recent months, the country has recorded extreme weather phenomena, with floods and a series of storms.

In September, the central agricultural region of Thessaly was inundated by deluge rains triggered by Storm Daniel. 17 people died, as well as tens of thousands of animals, and entire towns were destroyed.