JERUSALEM, (Reuters) – Israeli forces retrieved the bodies on Friday of two sailors declared missing off the coast of Haifa after an Israeli freighter sank following a collision with a Cypriot cruise ship, the army said.
The forces had rescued 11 crew from the “Shelly” cargo vessel, which sank in Thursday’s collision. “Navy divers are retrieving the bodies of the missing,” an Israeli army spokesman said. “The divers dived to a depth of 20 metres (65 feet) to complete the task”.
The men who died have not yet been identified. Israel Radio said they were from Slovakia but a spokesman from the country’s embassy in Tel Aviv said Israeli authorities had told them the sailors were not Slovaks.
Some 700 passengers and crew of the “Salamis Glory” cruise ship were unharmed by the collision near the northern port of Haifa and the vessel remains docked. The cause was not immediately clear.
“Passengers (on board of Salamis Glory) will be flown to Cyprus on Friday”, George Michalides, spokesman of cruise company Salamis Lines, told Reuters.