The Panama-flagged cargo ship, which was carrying coal and had 13 crew members on board, was heading to Samsun from the Russian port of Azov.

A cargo ship passes the Bosphorus en route to the Black Sea on April 26, 2018 in Istanbul.
A cargo ship passes the Bosphorus en route to the Black Sea on April 26, 2018 in Istanbul. (AFP)

Six crew members were killed and seven others were rescued on Monday after a cargo ship sank in rough seas off Turkey's Black Sea coast, a Turkish official said.

Turkish authorities launched a search and rescue mission off the Black Sea coastal province of Samsun after receiving a distress signal from the Panama-flagged vessel Volgo Balt 214, the Samsun governor's office said.

"Six people are dead and seven were rescued after a Panama-flagged vessel sank off Turkey's Samsun city," Samsun Governor Osman Kaymak said.

The vessel, which was carrying coal and had 13 crew members on board, was heading to Samsun from the Russian port of Azov.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said the vessel split into two during the sinking.

The Turkish Coast Guard said a plane, three helicopters and two boats were taking part in the rescue operation.

It was not immediately known why Volgo Balt 214 sank.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies