Turkish coast guards rescued three crew members from a Cambodian-registered cargo ship that sank in a Black Sea storm, and were searching for eight others still missing Wednesday, officials said.
Local people had reported seeing life jackets and lights in the waters off the port of Eregli, northwest Turkey, where ship went down. The governor of Zonguldak, the local region, said they had not given up hope of finding them.
"The bulk carrier tried to get to the port of Eregli because of the bad weather conditions, but started to take on water beforehand and sank in two or three minutes," Zonguldak governor Erol Ayyildiz told Anatolia news agency.
All three sailors rescued -- the second- and third-in-command and the ship's cook -- were in good health, he added. Eregli in northwest Turkey, is part of the region.
"The survivors say they saw the other member of the crew throw themselves in the water," Ayyildiz added.
"We still have hopes of saving eight people. We are dealing with people used to the sea, they have experience of this kind of situation."
A helicopter was due to join the search for survivors on Wednesday.
The Vera, a 114-metre (yard) vessel, was carrying scrap metal from the Russian port of Rostov to Izmir, on Turkey's west coast. It sank Tuesday evening at around 1730 GMT off Eregli, Anatolia reported.
The crew was made up of 10 Ukrainians and a Georgian.
Turkey has in recent days faced particlularly harsh weather, caught up in the freezing weather and heavy snows that have spread across swathes of central and eastern Europe.