Close to Helgoland, a German island in the North Sea, two vessels – the Polish Maritime Shipping’s MS Polesie and the British freighter Verity – collided. The marine command for exceptional situations has issued a report stating that a rescue operation is currently in progress with several individuals unaccounted for.
“For reasons yet to be determined, a collision transpired between the significantly larger ship, MS Polesie, measuring 190 meters in length and 29 meters in width, and the smaller British-flagged vessel, Verity, which measures 91 meters in length and 14 meters in width. Owing to their considerable size disparity, the smaller ship ended up sinking,” said Krzysztof Gogol from the Polish Maritime Navigation, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency.
Robert Trzybiński, the Chief Navigator of Polish Maritime Navigation, reported on TVN24 that the crew of the Polish ship is safe and unharmed.
Numerous individuals have tragically fallen overboard from the vessel “Verity”. Currently, one person has been successfully rescued. Multiple units, along with a helicopter from the German navy, are engaged in the ongoing rescue operation. In response to the grave situation unfolding in the North Sea, additional rescue teams are being dispatched to the scene.
RMF FM reports that the water temperature is a chilly 15 degrees Celsius, with towering waves reaching up to 3 meters high, further exacerbated by the persistent, strong winds.
The Central Command of the Maritime Services, as quoted by Reuters agency, reported the rescue of two additional individuals and the recovery of one body. The search continues for four missing crew members.
Shortly after, Reuters reported that one of the rescued individuals was transported to a hospital. The second rescued sailor was en route to a medical facility, located aboard the German rescue cruiser, Hermann Marwede.
“The MS Polesie is presently docked in the port of Cuxhaven, situated in northern Germany, where the accident-related procedures are in progress. The German Marine Accident Investigation Commission, having already boarded the ship due to the incident happening in German waters, will be leading the probe,” disclosed Krzysztof Gogol from Polish Maritime Navigation.
“The most important element of the investigation is the review of what was recorded on the VDR device, which is a record of all data about the ship, about its journey, also known as the ship’s black box. This will certainly be a very important element of the investigation,” he emphasized.
The British ship was operating from Bremen to Immingham in Great Britain. The Polish ship “Polesie” under the Bahamas flag was sailing from Hamburg to La Coruna in Spain.