The LNG-tanker was approaching Zeebrugge, its’ port of destination, while the Netherlands-flagged freighter was moving in opposite direction, bound for Spain.
Local Coast Guard reported eleven of the 12 crew members of the Dutch freighter Flinterstar were rescued from frigid North Sea waters, and one was being treated for hypothermia.
Image: John White
According to local news media reports, the freighter FLINTERSTAR sank. The Marshall Island-flagged tanker Al-Oraiq suffered serious damages and is anchored by the site of the collision, 10 kilometers from the coast near the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, Coast Guard official said. No water ingress or gas leak is reported.
Ship's traffic has been halted from entering or exiting the Western Scheldt estuary, an important shipping route to the port Antwerp.
The search and rescue operation, which included at least three rescue ships, five tug boats and a helicopter, was led and coordinated by the Belgian coast guard, with assistance from the Dutch.
There is an ongoing investigation for the cause of the incident.