Two Cargo Ships Collide: Search for Missing Sailors

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On October 24, 2023, two cargo ships collided in the North Sea near Germany. The collision involved the British-flagged ship Verity and the Bahamas-flagged ship Polesie. The event happened approximately 19 miles northeast of Langeoog island, Germany.

The Verity was traveling from Bremen, Germany, to Immingham, UK. After the collision, it sank. Seven crew members were on the Verity at the time. Two of these crew members were rescued and are now in stable condition. One crew member’s body was found, but four crew members are still missing. The search conditions are difficult because of 10-foot waves and 30 mph winds.

German rescue teams started looking for the missing crew right away. Divers tried to check the wreck of the Verity, which is thought to be about 100 feet underwater. Strong currents and poor visibility made it hard for the divers to find the missing crew.

Robby Renner, who leads Germany’s Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, talked about the rescue work at a press event in Cuxhaven, Germany. He said that they are doing all they can to save more people. Michael Ippich, from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service, said that with a water temperature of 54°F, people might survive in the water for up to 20 hours.

The Polesie was the bigger of the two ships. It wasn’t damaged and kept going to the port of Cuxhaven, Germany. The Polesie was originally traveling from Hamburg, Germany, to La Coruña, Spain. All 22 crew members on the Polesie were okay.

Other ships, like the cruise ship Iona, helped with the rescue work. The Iona was on its way from Hamburg, Germany, to Rotterdam. It had a medical team onboard that helped the rescued Verity sailors.

Even though rescuers worked all day, the search was stopped on October 25. The water is cold, and a lot of time passed since the crash, so it’s less likely that the missing sailors are still alive.

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