An Israeli official stated on Sunday that a Moldovan cargo ship has sunk in stormy weather off Israel's coast.

Yigal Maor of Israel's shipping and ports authority said the ship's 11-member crew scrambled onto lifeboats and was rescued by a nearby Taiwanese ship.

He told Israel Radio the rescue operation was complicated by high waves and winds.

Israel radio stations said the ship was about 7 miles (11 kilometers) off Israel's coast near the port city of Ashdod when it started going down. It sank Sunday.

Israel Radio identified the ship's crew as Ukrainian. It reportedly was carrying a shipment of steel.

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