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:
This morning Kendall Carver, President of the International Cruise Victims organization, appeared on the "Fox and Friends" television show regarding the death of passengers aboard the Louis Majesty cruise ship.
Mr. Carver raised the issue why the passengers were not warned of the wave conditions before the disaster, based on information gathered from the ship's radar and ocean buoys. Waves of this height (around 30 feet) are not considered to be "rogue" waves and are to be reasonably expected on a cyclical basis.
Mr. Carver also questioned why passengers were sitting in public areas with unsecured items around them near the glass windows when the waves crashed against the ship, and why the Louis Cruise Line officers did not inform the passengers to secure themselves in their cabins.
A coincidence? This ship was owned by the company Louis Cruises whose "Sea Diamond" sank in Santorini on 5th April three years ago; two people also died . . . I was on board the ship when she crashed and sank.
The reader is referring to the sinking of the Sea Diamond cruise ship which struck a reef in Santorini, Greece. The reef was in a known and well marked location. The vessel's hull was ruptured and the cruise ship took on water. Rather than grounding the vessel in shallow water, the officers thereafter took the vessel into deep water, where it sank.
1,600 persons were evacuated, but two passengers, a father and daughter, were lost. There was a consensus that the officers engaged in reckless seamanship. Greek maritime authorities arrested the cruise ship's Master and five officers and charged them with negligence.
Photographs of the sinking of the Sea Diamond can be viewed at the web site of Michael Hipler.
48 students aboard the S/Y Concordia found themselves in lifeboats bobbing in the Atlantic for two days after their sailing yacht sank 550 kilometers from Rio de Janeiro Brazil.
According to the Vancouver Sun, the students, mostly Canadian high school and first year college students with some Americans, were part of a Canadian "Class Afloat" program aboard the Concordia "tall ship." Class Afloat provides high school and university students an opportunity to study while at sea.
The three-masted vessel capsized in strong winds on Wednesday, leaving the passengers and crew stranded in the Atlantic, clinging to life rafts for two days.
There remains an issue why it took so long for rescue vessels to arrive. The newspaper reports that a distress signal went out about 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday - but it was not until 5 p.m. on Thursday before the Brazilian airforce spotted the life boats. The rescue was not complete until Friday morning.
The Concordia is registered in Barbados, which is the country now responsible for the investigation.
The newspaper reports that all of the rescued kids donned black baseball caps stitched with "F42" referring to the naval vessel which delivered them safely to shore in Brazil.
After learning that all of the students and crew were rescued, the president of the school rightly announced:
Concordia sailing yacht West Island College (via CBS News)
Video The Associated Press
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February 21, 2010 Update:
The Calgary Herald published the following time line regarding the rescue of the students and crew aboard the Concordia tall ship:
Wednesday, Feb. 17:
2:30 p.m. - a distress signal goes out from the Concordia
9 p.m. - Brazilian navy receives alert.
Navy officials spend 18 hours confirming what ship sent the signal, whose flag it was under. Confirms location, attempts radio contact with the Concordia. Contacts the school - is informed the last contact with the ship did not indicate any problem.
Thursday, Feb. 18:
2:30 p.m. - Brazilian navy asks air force to do a flyover of the area and alerts merchant ships in the region. Stormy seas prevail.
5 p.m. - Brazilian air force spots lifeboats.
9 p.m. - Merchant ships Crystal Pioneer (photo above) and Hokuetsu Delight (photo below)told to go to location. Stormy seas, bad weather continue.
Friday, Feb. 19:
4 a.m. - Crystal Pioneer spots lifeboats - due to darkness and high seas, waits to pluck the survivors to safety.
7 a.m. - The relieved passengers start boarding the Crystal Pioneer and Hokuetsu Delight.
9 a.m. - Last lifeboat located, passengers transferred to Hokuetsu Delight.
Saturday, Feb. 20:
All 64 students, teachers and crew arrive safely in Rio de Janeiro
Sources: Nigel McCarthy and The Brazilian Navy (via Calgary Herald)
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