4 dead, 7 missing after vessel sinks off Dutch coast

By Accidents

Unfortunately 4 seamen died and 7 other were missing in the icy waters of the North Sea, after a cargo vessel crashed with another ship and sank off the Dutch coast Wednesday night, rescuers reported.
“We may confirm that 4 bodies have been discovered, together with thirteen people rescued alive,” stated Coast Guard spokesman, Marcel Oldenburger.
He told a massive air and sea rescue action where were involved few helicopters, 2 navy patrol vessels and even 1 of the vessels involved in the accident would continue through the night in an effort to find the remaining 7 missing passengers of the sunken ship.
Another Coast Guard spokesman, Peter Verburg, stated in the early hours of Thursday morning that the search was carrying on despite “the opportunity of finding anyone alive now is virtually 0.”
“We are trying to do all we can, but time is overtaking our actions,” he added.
The 148-meter (485-foot) Baltic Ace hit with the 134-meter (440-foot) container vessel Corvus J in darkness close to busy shipping lanes some 65 km. (40 nautical miles) off the coast of the southern Netherlands. The Baltic Ace vessel, carrying a cargo of cars, had a crew members of twenty-four that was forced to leave the carrier as it sank quickly.
By around 10 pm (2100 GMT), eleven crew members had been saved by helicopters and 2 more by vessels, the coast guard told. Rescuers used infrared cameras to hunt for more survivors of the accident.
“We still hope to find and save them,” Kees Brinkman, a spokesman for rescue action team, told Dutch television nearly 4 hours after the accident. But, he also told, “the chances of survival of the missing crew members are shrinking” if they are in the water.
The Dutch Defense Ministry told in a statement that 2 navy patrol vessels were aiding the search. “Helicopters are still trying, in (strong wind) and high waves to take the people to safety,” the ministry informed.
Verburg told the twelve-men crew of the Corvus J was still on board the vessel that was helping in the rescue actions. Details of its cargo weren't immediately accessible. “It is badly injured, but not in danger of sinking,” Verburg stated of the Corvus J.
The spokesman of the coast guard told the reason of the accident wasn't known. “We are now solely focused on getting the passengers to safety,” he told. And 4 of the survived crew members were being flown to a hospital in Rotterdam and 7 to an airbase in Belgium.
The Baltic Ace vessel, sailing under a Bahamas flag, was heading from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge to Kotka in Finland, and the Cyprus-registered Corvus J was on its way from Grangemouth in Scotland to Antwerp, Belgium.