AMSTERDAM Dec 6 The search for seven crew
missing after a cargo ship sank in the North Sea will resume on
Thursday morning, the Dutch coastguard said.
Four died and 13 were rescued after the Baltic Ace, a car
carrier sailing under a Bahamas flag, collided with the Corvus
J, a container ship from Cyprus, on Wednesday evening about
40-50 km (25-30 miles) off Rotterdam port in an important North
Sea shipping lane.
"We stopped searching in the night and as soon as it is
daylight we will start again with an airplane and helicopters,"
a coastguard official told Reuters.
"The chance of finding any survivors is very slim."
The official declined to give his name because he was not
authorised to talk to the media.
The cause of the collision was unclear, but the British Met
Office had predicted gale-force winds and rain in the area.
By Thursday morning, weather conditions had improved, the
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, Dutch media reported.
The coastguard said the Corvus J was still in the area and
was not badly damaged in the collision. Shipping traffic was not
disrupted, he said.
Operations at Rotterdam Port were not affected by the
collision, a port spokesman told Reuters late on Wednesday.
Rotterdam is Europe's biggest port and handles commodities and
(Reporting by Sara Webb and Anthony Deutsch; editing by Patrick