A Turkish cargo vessel was driven aground due to strong winds in the southeastern Italian port of Bari, as Gale force winds swept across the Adriatic Sea, reports said Saturday.

Cargo ship Efe Murat runs aground off Italian port of Bari (Video)

Onboard the vessel named Efe Murat were 15 crew members, all of whom were identified as Turkish citizens.

It departed from Ortona on Feb. 22 and was heading to Turkey's Aliaga Port in Izmir province carrying wheat, Italian news agency said.

Catania Coast Guard reportedly dispatched a helicopter to rescue the crew members, reports said.

Strong winds also affected rescue efforts, obstructing the work of coast guard teams but crew members were safely evacuated.

Reports noted that the captain of the ship head initially attempted to take shelter in the port of Bari, but changed his mind later to keep going but strong winds dragged the vessel toward the wave breakers.

Source: Daily Sabah