Shipwreck: Queen Hind cargo overturns, drowning 14,000 sheep onboard

A large cargo ship carrying more than 14,000 sheep has overturned off the coast of Romania, with rescuers scrambling to save the animals.

The Queen Hind ship which left Midia at around 12:00 local time (10:00 GMT), was heading to the port city of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia with its cargo, capsized on Sunday morning, near the south-eastern city of Constanța, on the Black Sea coastline.

All crew members – 22 Syrian nationals – have been rescued as an operation, involving police, firefighters and the Romanian coast guard, went under way to save the sheep. With some sheep found swimming near the Palau-flagged ship rescued, many are believed to have drowned.

“We have already saved a small number. They were swimming in the sea,” Stoica Anamaria, spokeswoman for emergency services in Constanța, told the BBC.

Meanwhile, Ms Anamaria confirmed that one crew member was taken to hospital with hypothermia. She said, “He fell into the sea but was very quickly rescued,” adding that the rest of the crew were “all safe here in the harbour”.

It is not yet known what caused the ship to capsize. An investigation will be carried out when the operation to rescue the sheep and salvage the vessel is finished, authorities said.

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