Three crew members have died and another two were missing after two general cargoships sank on Wednesday in storms in the Mediterranean and Black seas.

The incidents underline the perilous nature of serving on small elderly general cargo vessels in the region after a spate of fatal incidents in recent years.

The 3,500-dwt Volgo-Balt 179 (built 1973), operated by Seatrans of Ukraine, was lost 70 nautical miles (130 km) off the coast of Romania en route from Rostov-on-Don in Russia to Constanta.

The Ukrainian government has announced that master Oleksandr Borysenko and electrician Hrohoriy Lysachenko have died, while second officer Ramzan Bolatkhanov was missing.

The other 10 seafarers on board were rescued. Video footage shows a crew member in a life raft being winched on board an offshore support vessel.

The cargoship was caught in a storm, with winds of up to 48 kph and 13-metre waves.

Romanian company GSP Offshore said its 4,600-dwt offshore support ship GSP Falcon (built 1989) received an emergency call from the Volgo-Balt 179 early on Wednesday morning.

Rescue filmed by crew

The crew of the GSP Falcon provided medical assistance to the survivors.

One seafarer has been taken to hospital for treatment.

The Volgo-Balt 179 was detained in Turkey in 2019 with 16 deficiencies. Grounds for detention related to the structural condition of beams, frames and floors after operational damage, as well as the watertight condition of cargo and other hatchways.

This was the latest in a string of detentions.

Lebanese ship lost

Also on Wednesday, the Egyptian Army said the 2,360-dwt Dana Trader (built 1978) — operated by Dana Maritime of Lebanon — sank off the coast near Abu Qir.

The body of a Palestinian national has been recovered, but one other Syrian seafarer is missing. Nine more were rescued.

The crew included seven Syrians and two Egyptians.

The ship was last detained in Cyprus in 2018 with 12 deficiencies. Grounds for detention included a faulty fire pump and radio communications.

In January, the 3,500-dwt Ukrainian cargo vessel Arvin (built 1975) broke in two off Turkey, killing four seafarers.