Last week the dangers of one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world was realized as two vessels collided and resulted in the sinking of a cargo ship that sank in the North Sea off the Dutch coast. The 148 meter (485 feet) Baltic Ace sank after colliding with the 134 meter (440 feet) container ship Corvus J, in busy shipping lanes 40 miles off the coast of Holland. The Bahamas registered Baltic Ace was carrying a cargo of automobiles on its way from the Belgian port of Zeebrugge
The Cyprus registered Corvus J was damaged in the collision but was not in danger of sinking. It helped in the task of finding survivors from the Baltic Ace crew. It is believed that out of the crew of 24 only 13 survived. Over 260,000 ships cross Dutch waters each year and on average there are less than 20 accidents annually. The last fatal accident in Dutch waters was back in 1994 when a British fishing boat collided with a Maltese-flagged tanker.
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