Dutch Media Interviews Baltic Ace Rescuers [VIDEO]

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December 7, 2012

Here are two interviews conducted by the Dutch website NOS.nl with rescuers involved in the Baltic Ace sinking. We have provided the english translation below each of the videos.

Female voice over, Pauline Broekema:
“Stellendam, last night. Even on shore it can be sensed what it must have been like at sea. The rescue boat Antoinette returns around 4 am. On board is the body of one the crew members of the cargo vessel (Baltic Ace). Under supervision of the police the remains are handed over to an undertaker.”

“At the rescue station the crew of the Antoinette recovers from what they just experienced. The waves were several meters high, a disaster like this most of them never experienced before.”

Eric Rodenhuis, skipper rescue boat:
“Search. Search and hope you find something. In the beginning we found a lot of things like lifebuoys, life vests and rafts. But after a few hours it became less. It drifts apart. A fisherman on a fishing vessel nearby told us he saw a body floating in the sea. We took it out.”

Voice over, Henrik-Willem Hofs:
“These are infrared images of the search and rescue mission at sea. The cargo vessel already disappeared under water. Life rafts float around in between the waves. Helicopters, rescue boats and fishing vessels search for survivors. Earlier, around 4 pm, the Baltic Ace departs from Zeebrugge on it’s way to Finland. On board are 1400 brandnew Mitsubishi’s. At the same time container vessel Corpus J is on it’s way from Scotland to Antwerp. On the busiest part of the North Sea the two giants collide at 19.15. Fifteen minutes later the cargo vessel Baltic Ace sinks. It briefly sends out a distress signal.”

Peter Verburg, Dutch Coastguard:
“There’s been a brief moment of contact from which we concluded that the vessel was sinking. After that no contact could be made.”

Voice over, Henrik-Willem Hofs:
“The coastguard immediately set up a search and rescue mission. At Rotterdam airport ambulances stand by. But for almost half of the crew, help comes too late.”

Peter Verburg:
“Several circumstances made the search difficult. The weather, the speed with which the vessel sunk, the temperature of the water. It all matters.”

Voice over, Henrik-Willem Hofs:
“The next day in daylight the search continued and the questions rise. How do these big modern vessels collide in the open sea?”

Michiel Visser, Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment:
“These ships had lengths of 150 and 130 meters. You can imagine what happens if ships of this size collide. The vessel sunk incredibly fast.”

Peter Verburg:
“This type of vessel has big open spaces. It has decks, but these are often open from stern to bow. When waters comes in it starts to list, which causes more water to come in, and this goes on until it capsizes.”

Michiel Visser:
“This is a serious accident, this doesn’t happen often.”

Voice over, Henrik-Willem Hofs:
“By the end of the day the container vessel Corpus J sailed towards Flushing anchorage, heavily damaged. The search for the six missing crewmembers seized in the late afternoon.”

Translated by Tobias Pieffers


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