1 Dead, 4 Missing after Cargo Ship Accident

(LibertyInsider.org) — At least one person has died, and several others are missing in the wake of a crash between two cargo ships operating in the North Sea. The incident, which unfolded in the early morning hours of October 24, adds another grim chapter to the long history of maritime tragedies in these perilous waters.

Reports from authorities searching for the missing sailors state that the British ship Veracity came into contact with the Polesie, a ship from the Bahamas, at around 5 a.m. Although the 625-foot Polesie managed to stay afloat, authorities believe the smaller 299-foot Veracity likely sank a short time after the accident. It stopped broadcasting signals about 20 minutes after the incident occurred.

All 22 of the people aboard the Polesie survived the incident. Authorities managed to rescue two of the seven sailors on board the Veracity when it went down. They also recovered a body and located wreckage from the smaller ship, suggesting that it had been destroyed.

The German Maritime Search and Rescue Service immediately began coordinating a search and rescue mission in an attempt to locate the four remaining crewmen they could not account for. A number of civilian and government boats and helicopters, including the cruise ship Iona, responded to the call for help.

Efforts to rescue the men stretched on for over 24 hours. Officials also sent divers down in an attempt to determine whether they might be trapped within the downed ship somewhere along the seafloor. But difficult conditions, including poor weather and strong currents, made the search extremely challenging. Local authorities called off the search at 7 a.m. on October 25.

Both the Veracity and the Polesie were positioned only a short distance away from the coast at Helgoland and Germany when the accident happened. It isn’t yet clear exactly why the two ships collided or what caused the accident.

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