Coastal freighter Stella. (

TBILISI, DFWatch–A ship with Georgian crew Saturday went down in the Aegean Sea. Five of the crew members were rescued, but the captain is missing and a search is underway.

According to Maritime Bulletin, the small freighter Stella had a crew of six when it sank for unknown reasons. When it issued a distress signal on Saturday, it was 19 nautical miles west of the Greek island Karpathos.

Greek coast guard yesterday said that five persons have been rescued, all of them Georgians. The captain,also a Georgian citizen, is missing but rescue crew are searching for him.

The Stella was built in 1967 and was flying a Sierra Leonean flag. The ship had left the Turkish port Aliaga and was on the way to Cyprus without cargo.

After the ship sent an SOS signal, the coast guard sent a helicopter to the location where it happened. Five Georgians were taken by helicopter to a hospital on the island Rhodes.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry said Monday that nothing new is known about the fate of the captain. Rescue workers will continue the search for 74 hours since the accident, and are now conducting a search of the sea floor.

The five surviving crew members will be brought to Georgia in a few days and their transport costs covered by the company which owned the ship.