Bulgarian Sailor Rescued in North Sea Ship Sinking

December 6, 2012, Thursday // 10:35
1 Bulgarian Sailor Rescued in North Sea Ship Sinking: Bulgarian Sailor Rescued in North Sea Ship Sinking
The Baltic Ace collided with the Corvus J near a shipping lane off the Netherlands. Photo by Guardian

One Bulgarian sailor has been rescued late Wednesday evening after the sinking of cargo ship Baltic Ace in the North Sea.

Martime.bg reports Thursday that this was the only Bulgarian sailor onboard, and he is expected to return home in the next several days.

Four sailors are dead and another seven are missing after the cargo ship sank in the North Sea following a collision.

The accident took place off the coast of Belgium and the Netherlands, after the Baltic Ace sailed from Zeebrugge.

Thirteen crew members of the Baltic Ace have been rescued, but seven are still missing in freezing waters.

BBC quoted a coastguard spokesman saying "the chance of finding anyone alive now is virtually zero" after the search was halted for the night due to strong winds and high seas.

Baltic Ace was sailing under a Bahamas flag and carrying cars from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Kotka in Finland.

Its 24 crew abandoned the ship as it sank quickly after colliding with the Cyprus-registered container ship, the Corvus J, sailing from Grangemouth in Scotland to the Belgian port of Antwerp.

Corvus J has also sustained serious damage, but is not in danger of sinking. All 12 crew members are still on board.

The Dutch coastguard said the cause of the collision, which happened at 18:15 GMT some 65 km (40 miles) off the coast of the southern Netherlands, was not yet known.

The shipping lane where the accident happened is one of the busiest in the North Sea, about 100km (60 miles) from Europe's busiest port, Rotterdam.

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