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British ship Verity sinks in collision off Germany with four still missing

Divers searched the still-intact wreck for survivors

One crew member has died, two were found alive and four are still missing after general cargoship Verity capsized and sank in the North Sea when it and bulk carrier Polesie collided early Tuesday, German authorities said

A CREW member has died and four are still missing after British general cargoship Verity capsized and sank in the North Sea following a collision with a bulk carrier.

The 2001-built, Isle of Man-flagged, 3,360 dwt Verity (IMO: 9229178) and much larger, 38,056 dwt, bulk carrier Polesie (IMO: 9488097), built in 2009, collided about 14 miles southwest of the island of Helgoland and 17 nautical miles northeast of the island of Langeoog, in the North Sea, around 0500 hrs, today, according to the German central command for maritime emergencies.

Two crew members were found alive and flown to shore. Divers, aircraft and several rescue vessels searched for survivors. 


Lloyd’s List Intelligence reported more boats joined the search on Tuesday afternoon. It cited reports the wreck was found still intact at a depth of 30 metres.

A correspondent reported to LLI that initial investigations showed the vessel, travelling at 6-7 knots from the port side, "should have given way to Polesie, which was approaching from the starboard side at a speed of 12-13 knots". 

It had earlier reported: “Verity obviously sank immediately after the incident because its Automatic Identification System signal vanished at once."

The last AIS signal that Verity transmitted was at 0256 hrs GMT.

Polesie had only slight damage and its 22 crew were unhurt, LLI reported.

Verity was carrying steel loaded in Bremen, Germany to the English town of ImminghamPolesie was going from Hamburg to La Coruna in Spain. Both ships were leaving the German Bight in their traffic corridor when the incident occurred.

Early reports said Verity had around 100 tonnes of oil on board as fuel.

P&O cruiseship Iona (IMO: 9826548joined several vessels in the early search including sea rescue cruisers Hermann Marwede (IMO: 9282601and Bernhard Gruben of the German Sea Rescue Society, the emergency tug Nordic (IMO: 9525962)the pilot tender Wangerooge (IMO: 8417247)water police boat Sylt and a SAR helicopter from the Germany Navy. 

Sea rescue cruisers Anneliese Kramer, hydrographic agency ship Atair (IMO: 9835496), multipurpose ship Mellum (IMO: 8301981and water police boat W3 were also aiding, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence, citing local reports.

Windcrew I arrived at 1500 hrs with divers to search the wreck for traces of the crew.  

Verity is entered with Dutch P&I provider Noord Nederlandsche Protectie Club, which reinsures all its mutual vessels by arrangement with UK-based P&I club NorthStandard, a spokesman for NNPC confirmed today. The ship is therefore ultimately covered by the International Group pool scheme. Details of the hull & machinery slip are not in the public domain.

LLI lists the registered owner as Casper Chartering and the technical manager as Faversham Ships.


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