AMSTERDAM - A cargo ship carrying cars has "almost certainly" sunk after colliding with a container ship in the North Sea on Wednesday evening, and a rescue operation was under way, the Dutch coastguard said.
The collision between the Baltic Ace, a car carrier sailing under a Bahamas flag, and the Corvus J, a container ship from Cyprus, took place about 40-50 km (25-30 miles) from the Dutch port of Rotterdam in an important North Sea shipping lane, coastguard spokesman Peter Verburg said.
Verburg said the rescue of 24 crew from the Baltic Ace was under way, after members of the crew were found on four life rafts. They were being lifted to safety by helicopters near the scene of the collision, but it was unclear if anyone was missing, he said.
Dutch media reported that the Baltic Ace was en route from Zeebrugge in Belgium to Kotka in Finland, while the Corvus J was going from Grangemouth in Scotland to Antwerp, Belgium.