Rescue operations are currently underway in the Kerch Strait off the Russian Black Sea coast following the sinking of the Geroi Arsenala dry cargo carrier on Wednesday.

The 3,500t vessel was reported to have suffered a wreckage in the Black Sea with 12 crew members onboard.

Rescue personnel reached the incident scene on early Wednesday but have only been able to pull only one person from the water so far, who has been identified as a Ukrainian national.

The BBC noted they have also found two bodies, and still are carrying out search operations for the rest of the nine missing crew members.

Rescue efforts for the Panama-registered ship are currently being hindered by high winds in the area. Approximately 200 people have been deployed to carry out the hunt by air and sea, reported Tass.

"Rescue personnel reached the incident scene on early Wednesday but have only been able to pull only one person from the water so far."

Russia’s Federal Agency for Maritime and River Transport stated that two of the 12 crew members are Russian citizens.

An agency official was quoted by Sputnik as saying: “There were 12 crew members on-board the dry-cargo vessel that shipwrecked in the Black Sea, including two Russians, one of whom was a captain, nine Ukrainians, and one citizen of Georgia.”

It has been noted that Geroi Arsenala was carrying grain from Russia’s Azov port to Turkey when it was submerged approximately 35km south of the Taman Peninsula.

Russian officials also say that oil from the ship has spilled into the sea.