BBC News reports that a collision between a cargo ship, the German owned and Cyprus-registered Corvus J, and a car carrier, the Greek owned and Bahamian-flagged Baltic Ace, resulted in the sinking of the Baltic Ace.
Eleven crew members from the Baltic Ace are lost or missing in the freezing waters of the North Sea. There are conflicting reports whether 3 or 4 crew members are confirmed dead.
The accident reportedly took place 40 miles off the coast of Belgium and the Netherlands, after the 148-meter Baltic Ace sailed from Zeebrugge heading to Kotka, Finland. The 134-meter Corvus J was sailing from Grangemouth, Scotland to Antwerp, Belgium. The shipping lanes in this area, some 60 miles from Rotterdam, are very busy.
14 crew members in lifeboats were rescued notwithstanding high winds and heavy seas. Several Dutch Coast Guard helicopters and two navy patrol ships are searching for the remaining crew members.
The Corvus J is reportedly damaged but not in danger of sinking. Her crew of twelve are still on board.
A Dutch blog suggests that some of the cars on the carrier included a number of new ultra luxury automobiles, including 8 Bentleys, 6 Rolls-Royce drophead coupes, 4 Lamborghinis and 12 Ferraris.
December 6, 2012 Update: VesselFinder.com posted a video of the AiS info on the collision on YouTube which is below:
Photo of Corvus J: visserijnieuws.punt.nl