A cargo ship carrying about 14,600 sheep capsized in the Black Sea off the coast of Romania.
The crew, which comprised 20 Syrians and one Lebanese, were rescued along with just 33 surviving animals.
The ship, named Queen Hind, overturned for unknown reasons on Sunday shortly after leaving the Romanian port of Midia.
Supported by the military, police, and divers, rescuers tried to right the Palau-flagged vessel and pull it to the port.
The losses from the incident are estimated to reach 3 million Romanian Lei (approximately £537,670).
Rescue efforts helmed by military, police and divers were attempting to restore the ship and carry it to shore.
It is unclear what caused the ship to capsize, and it is currently under investigation by Romanian authorities.
At least thousands of sheep are still stuck in the wreckage, many of which are expected to have drowned, reports said.
The vessel was bound for Libya, with preliminary investigations suggesting it was overloaded.
An urgent investigation has been called for by the country’s main livestock breeder and exporter association.