The Baltic Ace sank within 15 minutes of colliding with the containership Corvus J Wednesday night approximately 65 kilometers (40 miles) off the southeastern coast of the Netherlands in the North Sea. Five bodies have been recovered and 13 crew members were saved.  The search for the remaining six has been called off, the Dutch Coast Guard said.

Dutch police are working with the prosecutor to determine whether they could investigate the incident as the collision happened outside territorial waters.

These photos released by the Dutch coast guard reveal the damage to the Corvus J following the collision.

Photo: KNRM Breskens

The M/V Corvus J is a modern, 8,370 dwt container-feeder-vessel with the capacity for 630 TEU. The vessel has a length of 134m and a breadth of 19.4m and operates in European containerfeeder services. It was built on the “Rolandwerft” in Berne / Germany in 2003.

Photo: KNRM Breskens

Following the collision, the Corvus J assisted with the rescue operation and recovered one of the survivors. The Corvus J had a 12 crew on board at the time, none of which were injured.

gCaptain’s FULL Coverage: Baltic Ace Sinking

The vessel is currently at flushing anchorage awaiting further instructions from Dutch authorities, according to a statement from the ship’s owner, Jüngerhans Maritime Services GmbH & Co. KG of Germany. The statement continued:

All our thoughts and condolences go out to the families of those crew members who have been lost in this tragic accident and to those who are still missing. Juengerhans understands that the search and rescue operation was resumed early this morning and it is our sincere hope that further survivors will be found.

The Bahamian-flagged Baltic Ace was headed to Kotka, Finland, from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, when the collision occurred. The Cyprus-flagged Corvus J was on its way to Antwerp from the Scottish town of Grangemouth, the coast guard said.

Below is a plot of AIS data of the Corvus J containership and Baltic Ace leading up to the collision.

Image courtesy Shipoftheday.blogspot.com. Click for Hi-res

Video below provided by VesselFinder.com

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sC9DyWOY4w[/youtube]

Wind and wave conditions in the North Sea at approximate time of collision:

gCaptain’s FULL Coverage: Baltic Ace sinking

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