Crew Rescued After Ships Collide

The crew of a chemical tanker was rescued by helicopter and lifeboat on Tuesday, after an overnight collision with another vessel in the Channel between France and Britain, a British coastguard spokeswoman said.

The 8,003 ton chemical tanker "Ece" sustained "significant damage" and was leaking its cargo of phosphoric acid after colliding with the bulk carrier "General Grot-Rowecki," the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

The bulk carrier escaped with minor damage. The collision took place shortly before 0200 GMT, halfway between the island of Guernsey and the British coast. 12 crewmembers of the "Ece" were airlifted from the vessel, with a lifeboat picking up the remaining 10. All 22 were taken to Guernsey, where they received treatment for minor injuries, shock, and hypothermia. There were no serious injuries, the coastguard spokeswoman said.

The helicopter has returned to stand by above the stricken chemical tanker, which has a "significant list to port", the coastguard said. Rescuers were awaiting a French naval tug.