A Comoros-flagged cargo ship with 14 people on board has sunk off the island of Lesbos, in Greece, with strong winds blowing in the area.

Five cargo ships, three Coast Guard vessels, Air Force and Navy helicopters and a Navy Frigate are taking part in the rescue operation.

According to various media leaks, a navy helicopter had picked up one crew member who has been taken to Mytilene General Hospital.

Ert state-run television said the incident took place in the sea area 4.5 nautical miles southwest of the island of Lesvos.

The ship “Raptor” had sailed from Egypt, heading for Istanbul and was loaded with a cargo of salt, Athens news agency (ANA) reported.

The crew members include two Syrian nationals, one from Indian and eleven Egyptians, whilst the shipping company is headquartered in Lebanon.

Earlier local media had suggested there were two from Syria, four from Indian, and eight Egyptians on board.

According to ANA, the ship first reported a mechanical failure at 7 a.m. local time.

Later, the captain reported that the ship was tilting, and activated the “mayday” distress signal before disappearing from the radar.

An emergency weather warning by the Hellenic National Meteorological Service (EMY) had been upgraded as strong northwest winds blow 8 Beaufort.

The Hellenic National Meteorological Service (EMY) had issued on Saturday an update according to the latest forecast data.

It is pointed out that bad weather “Bettina” is receding, as the barometric low that affected Greece has already moved northeast and is in the Black Sea. However, on Sunday very stormy winds are predicted, weakening from the afternoon hours.

Hospital administrator George Kambouris told “N” that the doctors, treating the sailor, note that he is in good health and his life is not in danger.

Watch the video of “N” with the transfer of the crew member to the hospital.

Video: StoNisi.gr