Page last updated at 16:08 GMT, Saturday, 27 September 2008 17:08 UK

Ship sinks in storm off Bulgaria

Bulgaria black sea map

A cargo ship, believed to be Ukrainian or Russian, sank in stormy waters off the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria with 10 crew members aboard, authorities say.

The 5,000 tonne Tolstoy, carrying scrap metal, did not send out a distress call, said Nikolai Apostolov, head of the Bulgarian maritime office.

Bulgarian authorities were alerted by a Russian satellite centre, he said.

News agencies report that the ship's crew, believed to be Ukrainian with a Russian captain, are all missing.

Rescue helicopters and ships were searching the waters 20 kilometres (12 miles) off Cape Emine on Bulgaria's northern Black Sea coast, but their efforts were hampered by rough weather.

The ship sank at about 0400 (0100 GMT).

The Tolstoy, which sailed under a North Korean flag, departed from the southern Russian port city of Rostov-on-Don on 21 September and was destined for Turkey.

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