Dutch Freighter Sinks after Colliding with LNG Carrier

Published Oct 6, 2015 3:46 PM by Reuters

A small Dutch freight ship sank early Tuesday morning after colliding with an LNG tanker in the North Sea off the Belgian coast, the Netherlands' coast guard said. All on board were saved.

Coast Guard spokeswoman Vanessa Strijbosch said 11 of the 12 crew of the Dutch freighter Flinterstar were rescued from frigid North Sea waters, and one was being treated for hypothermia.

The Marshall Island-flagged tanker Al-Oraiq also suffered damage and is anchored by the site of the collision, 10 kilometers from the coast near the Belgian port of Zeebrugge, she said.

Traffic has been halted from entering or exiting the Western Schelt estuary, an important shipping route to the port Antwerp.

The 122,079 dwt Al-Oraiq is not leaking any petrochemicals.

The rescue operation, which included at least three rescue ships, five tug boats and a helicopter, was led and coordinated by the Belgian coast guard, with assistance from the Dutch.

The cause of the collision is not yet known.