5 December 2012 Last updated at 23:37 – ‘Four dead’ after cargo ship sinks in North Sea. Eight crew members of the Baltic Ace are still missing. Four sailors are dead and another eight are missing after a cargo ship sank in the North Sea following a collision.
The accident took place off the coast of Belgium and the Netherlands, after the Baltic Ace sailed from Zeebrugge.
Thirteen crew members of the Baltic Ace have been rescued, but eight are still missing in freezing waters.
A helicopter with infrared cameras has joined the search as strong winds and high winds make conditions difficult.
The Baltic Ace was sailing under a Bahamas flag.
It was transporting cars from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Kotka in Finland when it collided with the Cyprus-registered container ship, the Corvus J, sailing from Grangemouth in Scotland to the Belgian port of Antwerp.
The Corvus J is said to be badly damaged but not in danger of sinking. All 12 crew members are still on board.
The Dutch coastguard said the cause of the collision, which happened at 1815GMT, was not yet known.
“We have found life rafts, and the people in them are being picked up by helicopters, ” said spokesman Peter Verburg.
The shipping lane where the accident happened is one of the busiest in the North Sea, about 100km (60 miles) from the port of Rotterdam port, Europe’s busiest.
But a spokesman for the port said its activities would not be affected by the collision.
(source: the BBC)