Moment British cargo ship smashes into boat in North Sea as several missing

A horrifying map shows the moment a British cargo ship smashed into another bulk carrier as a desperate rescue mission is launched to find those missing on board.

Eight crew members were believed to be on board British ship Verity when it collided with Polesie in the Borth Sea during the early hours of this morning (Tuesday, October 24), before it sank about 14 miles west of Helgoland.

One person has been rescued from the water and is being given medical treatment, while rescuers continue to search for those missing.

Verity is believed to have been heading from Bremen, Germany to English port Immingham in Lincolnshire.

Bahamas-flagged Polesia was on its way to La Coruna in Spain, with 22 people on board.

READ MORE: Huge 300ft British cargo ship sinks in North Sea after smashing into boat

Ship tracking website Marine Tracker captured the moment the two huge ships collided at around 3am. 

The vessels can be seen on the collision course heading straight for each other, before Polesie sails off and turns around but Verity remains stranded in the same spot of ocean before going down.

The P&O cruise ship Iona has joined several vessels in the search. It left Southampton three days ago for Hamburg, Rotterdam and Bruges in Belgium.

Also in the rescue mission are the vessels ‘Hermann Marwede’ and ‘Bernhard Gruben’. The Iona has a doctor and medical assistance on board while paramedics are also on board rescue helicopters.

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The German Sea Rescue Society (DGzRS) tweeted: “#Sea rescuers in action: Collision in the German Bight, several people missing. Two cargo ships collided early this morning. Sea rescue cruiser HERMANN MARWEDE of the #DGzRS coordinates numerous search and rescue units.”

Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies stated: “A ship collision occurred in the German Bight early on Tuesday morning, October 24, 2023, around 5 am. The cargo ships ‘Polesie’ and ‘Verity’ collided approximately 12 nautical miles (22 kilometers) southwest of the island of Helgoland and 17 nautical miles (31 kilometers) northeast of the island of Langeoog. The emergency command took over overall operational management.

“The accident command currently assumes that the ‘Verity’ sank as a result of the collision. One person was rescued from the water and is receiving medical care. Several other people are currently missing. The search for the shipwrecked is underway. Numerous ships are in use for this purpose. The ‘Polesie’ is buoyant. She has 22 people on board.

“Currently involved in the search are the sea rescue cruisers HERMANN MARWEDE (Deutsche Bucht/Helgoland station) and BERNHARD GRUBEN (Hooksiel station) of the German Sea Rescue Society (DGzRS), the emergency tug “Nordic”, the pilot tender “Wangerooge”, the water police boat “Sylt and a SAR helicopter “Sea King” from the German Navy.

“The sea rescue cruiser HERMANN MARWEDE is currently coordinating the search on site. Also on the way to the accident site are the sea rescue cruiser ANNELIESE KRAMER (DGzRS, Cuxhaven station), the ATAIR (Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency), the multi-purpose ship MELLUM (Waterways and Shipping Administration) and the water police boat W3.

“The emergency command also has the DO228 sensor aircraft fly over the sea area in order to obtain further information. The cruise ship IONA is in the sea area and is supporting the search. People can also receive medical care on board the IONA; there are doctors on board. The accident command brings additional medical personnel to the scene of the accident by helicopter.

“In the area there are winds of six Beaufort with seas of three meters. The “Verity” [length: 91m, width 14m, flag: United Kingdom] was on the way from Bremen to Immingham in Great Britain, the “Polesie” [length: 190m, width 29m, flag: Bahamas] left Hamburg to La Coruña in Spain.”

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