KIEV: At least 12 people drowned Saturday when a boat capsized in the Black Sea near Odessa in southern Ukraine, regional authorities said.
“The reason for this tragedy were storms and an absence of life jackets. Twelve people drowned and one is missing,” said Volodymyr Jmak, a deputy of the governor of Odessa region. He added that the vessel had been transporting 36 people, including three crew, when it sank mid-afternoon.
Jmak said the remaining 23 passengers were safe of whom 18 were in hospital.
Regional governor Mikhail Saakashvili, the reformist former president of Georgia and now a Ukrainian citizen, said in a post on Facebook that he would cut short a visit to the western city of Lviv to head for the scene at Zatoka, a village some 50 kilometres (31 miles) from Odessa.