Lebanese officials say rescuers have recovered two bodies from the waters off Lebanon's northern coast where a cargo ship carrying 83 crew members and livestock sank late Thursday.

The officials say Lebanese navy boats and United Nations vessels participating in the rescue mission also pulled at least 25 people from the rough Mediterranean waters.

Local authorities say the Panamanian-flagged vessel, carrying livestock from Uruguay to the Syrian port of Tartous, capsized some 17 kilometers off the Lebanese port of Tripoli in a heavy rainstorm.

They say the crew sent a distress call but the vessel sank before the rescue ships could reach the area.

Thursday's accident came less than a week after a Togolese-flagged cargo ship with 12 crew on board sank off the Lebanese coast. 

Six crew members were rescued but the rest remain missing.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.