Sinking fears as ships collide in North Sea

Last updated 12:41 06/12/2012

Relevant offers

Europe

Lord Sewel's scandal leads to calls to reform UK's 'bloated' House of Lords Cavorting, snorting British peer Lord Sewel quits House of Lords Nelson family survives fatal holiday crash in Ukraine MH17 fallout: Russia considers ban on import of Dutch flowers Attack on bikini-wearing woman in park highlights tensions in French society Senior British lord to leave parliament until drugs video investigated Ireland to hand adopted people birth records for first time UK checking two suspected MERS cases UK's Cameron says ready to bomb militants in Libya and Syria Dozens injured as roof ripped off bus after driving under low bridge

At least three crew members died when a cargo ship carrying cars sank after colliding with a container ship in the North Sea on Wednesday night (Thursday NZT), Dutch coastguards and media reports said.

The coastguards mounted an air-and-sea rescue operation after the Baltic Ace, a car carrier sailing under a Bahamas flag, collided with the Corvus J, a container ship from Cyprus, off Rotterdam port, coastguard spokesman Peter Verburg said.

Dutch news agency ANP, citing police, reported that 13 of the 24 crew from the Baltic Ace had been rescued and taken to hospital for treatment, while at least three were dead.

Verburg said some members of the crew were found on four life rafts and were lifted to safety by helicopters near the scene of the collision.

The accident occurred about 40-50km off Rotterdam port in an important North Sea shipping lane.

The cause of the collision was not immediately established,

but the British Met Office had predicted gale-force winds and rain in the area.

The Baltic Ace was en route from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Kotka in Finland, while the Corvus J was going from Grangemouth in Scotland to Antwerp, Belgium, Dutch media reported.

Operations at Rotterdam Port were not affected by the collision, a port spokesman told Reuters.

Rotterdam is Europe’s biggest port and handles commodities and manufactured goods.

‘‘It doesn’t have any consequences for the port, it is far away from the entrance to the port,’’ spokesman Sjaak Poppe said.

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content