3 Missing after ship Sinks in Collision off Den Helder

By Accidents
Tragic accident occurred at 13.30 UTC on Monday, between a 32-metre standby safety ship MARIA and a 42-metre fishing vessel TX68 VERTROUWEN. The accident off the Dutch naval port of Den Helder lead to sinking of the safety vessel Maria and 3 of 5 totally crew members are still missing.

The other 2 crew members onboard of the sunken ship Maria that were working on the Wintershall-operated Helm field were successfully rescued and they are reported in good health condition.

Crew members of the TX68 Vertrouwen fishing vessel have seen all the 5 crew members of the sunken ship Maria, wearing their life jackets before the latter sunk, according to news release.

The sunken ship Maria was employed to guard 2 pipe platforms in the Wintershall's Helm field of a German operator at the time of the tragic collision, stated a spokesman of the Dutch Coast Guard.

The nationality of the 5 crew members of the sunken ship Maria was mixed. At the time of the accident onboard the sunken ship Maria were Indonesian, Philippines and 2 rescued seafarers from Cape Verde.

The sunken ship Maria was a former fishing vessel, later converted into standby guard ship for the offshore industry. She was flying the flag of Netherlands at the time of the tragic collision.

The collision between the guard ship Maria and fishing vessel TX68 Vertrouwen was confirmed by a spokesman of Wintershall, who said that the accident occurred close to a pipeline connection.

"The guard vessel protected a new pipeline connection between the Hoorn platform and Q4-C platform," he said.

"The guard vessel sank as a consequence of this collision.

"The pipeline was not pressurised at the time of the incident, which means that no leakage (is likely to) occur."