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A British cargo ship sank in the North Sea after colliding with another vessel, resulting in the death of one sailor and four others who are currently missing.
The Central Command for Maritime Emergencies in Germany reported that two sailors were saved, but one man’s body was found after the incident.
A rescue mission was launched following a collision between the UK-registered Verity and a larger freighter named Polesie, approximately 14 miles (22.5km) off the coast of the German island of Heligoland at 5am on Tuesday.
Although the larger ship, registered in the Bahamas as Polesie, remained above water, the Verity, which had left Bremen, Germany and was headed for Immingham port on England’s east coast with a cargo of steel coils, sank.
Soon after, German officials reported that the ship had lost its signal and wreckage was discovered.
Efforts are ongoing with the involvement of multiple ships, aircraft, and a P&O cruise ship to search for the wreckage. Rescuers are getting ready to dive 98ft (30m) to reach the site.
Germany’s chief of Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, Robby Renner, stated at a press briefing in Cuxhaven that there is a chance the remaining crew members are still alive within the sunken ship. He also mentioned that his team is working tirelessly to save them.
According to Michael Ippich from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service, the water temperature during the collision was 12C (54F), a temperature in which individuals can survive for approximately 20 hours.
Mr Ippich told reporters: “The conditions on the spot are extremely difficult.
“Due to the current weather conditions and low visibility, it is extremely challenging to carry out this operation.”
A representative from P&O Cruises informed the PA news agency that their ship, Iona, is currently participating in a search and rescue mission near the coast of Germany.
Iona is currently working together with authorities in adherence to international maritime regulations and in line with the company’s moral and legal responsibilities. The incident is still in progress.
Iona is set to sail today and this should not affect tomorrow’s planned stop in Rotterdam or the rest of the trip.
The Verity, owned by Faversham Ships Ltd, is currently involved in an ongoing incident and the company is collaborating with local authorities.
The representative of Associated British Ports, the owner of the port of Immingham, verified that the ship was scheduled to reach the port.
A representative from the Foreign Office stated that they have no knowledge of any UK citizens being present on the ship.