Car Carrier Sinks Near Rotterdam After Collision, Casualties Reported – UPDATE

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December 5, 2012

File photo of the car carrier “Baltic Ace” in the port of Bremerhaven, Germany

Update 3: Five bodies have been recovered and six are still missing in the North Sea.  AIS Data and damage photos of the Corvus J can be found here.

gCaptain’s FULL Coverage: Baltic Ace Sinking

Update 2: BBC has reported that the bodies of three crewmembers have been recovered and eight are still missing. Meanwhile the AP says that 4 bodies have been recovered, citing a Coast Guard official.

Update 1: Unofficial report from the scene…

“Car carrier has sunk, 13 crewmembers are rescued and brought to a nearby hospital. 11 still missing.. Two Dutch navy vessels, 2 helicopters and 2 SAR vessels from the KRNM are also searching for the rest of the crewmembers that are still 11 missing.”

We have been told that the car carrier sank quickly, possibly within 15 minutes.

Another unofficial report from the scene…

4 crew members have been brought to the Erasmus medical center in Rotterdam with mild wounds and hypothermia. 7 crewmembers were flown to Ostend in Belgium. 2 have been saved by the container vessel which collided with the car carrier and 11 are still unaccounted for. 3 helicopters, 2 navy vessels and several other vessels from the KNRM are searching. Also several merchant vessels are giving assistance in the search.

Original: A car carrier is sinking in the North Sea near Rotterdam after colliding with a containership Wednesday night.

The Bahamas-flagged car carrier Baltic Ace collided with the Cyprus-flagged containership Covus J after dark approximately 25 to 30 miles from Port of Rotterdam. The Baltic Ace is said to be sinking as a result of the collision and there may be as many as 24 crewmembers on board.

A rescue operation is currently underway. An unknown number of crew are being pulled from four life rafts by helicopter.

Reuters in the UK has reported that the Dutch coastguard said the Baltic Ace has “almost certainly has sunk.”

The Baltic Ace was en route from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Kotka, Finland. The Corcus J was en route from Grangemouth (UK) to Antwerp.

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