6 Sailors Found After Israel-bound Ship Sinks; 7 Still Missing

Cargo freighter which left Greece and was headed for Haifa sank 50 miles off the Lebanese shore.

United Nations and Israeli forces found six crew members who were missing after an Israel-bound freighter sank in stormy weather in international waters about 80 kilometers off Lebanon, officials said.

The forces were still searching on Saturday evening for the remaining seven crew members.

The ship was headed from Greece to the northern Israeli port of Haifa when it sank, the Israeli military said, adding that no foul play was suspected. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has sent Israeli Air Force rescue helicopters and Israel Navy divers to search for survivors.

A doctor from Haifa's Rambam Medical Center Emergency Medicine Unit said that one of the survivors, age 49, was brought to the hospital on Saturday.

He was suffering from fatigue and hypothermia.

According to the doctor, the survivor had been in the water for 24 hours with no raft, although he was wearing a simple floating device.

He was pulled out of the water by an Israel Defense Force rescue unit.

The survivor said that the crew distributed floatation devices and stayed on the ship's deck until it was completely submerged under water.

UNIFIL, a force of UN peacekeepers in Lebanon, received a distress call from the vessel, SALA II, late Friday, said UNIFIL spokesman Andrea Tenenti.

A UNIFIL vessel, Zafer of Turkey, set off to the location but the distressed ship sank before the rescuers arrived.

All 13 crew members are Ukrainian nationals, U.N. officials said.

Israel and Lebanon have tense relations that worsened after the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Israel and the Hezbollah militant organization.