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Search for sailors after North Sea collision called off

BERLIN (AFP) – German rescue teams called off a search yesterday for four sailors missing after a cargo ship sank after a collision between two vessels in the North Sea.

One person has already been declared dead and two people were rescued after the accident, which happened early on Tuesday about 22 kilometres southwest of the island of Helgoland.

The search for survivors was called off overnight and will not be resumed yesterday, said the German Sea Rescue Society (DGzRS).

Although ships and helicopters had scoured the zone during the night despite difficult weather conditions, they did not find anything, said the group.

The British-registered Verity, which sank, was carrying a cargo of steel to the English town of Immingham from Bremen, in Germany. It also had 1,300 cubic metres of fuel on board.

Two of the seven crew were rescued, one was found dead and the other four are missing.

The cause of the accident is not known. The Verity, owned by the British company Faversham, with the smaller of the two vessels, with the 190-metre Polesie owned by the Polish company Polsteam sailing under a Bahamas flag.

German Maritime Search and Rescue Service sea rescue cruiser ship station in Hooksiel, northern Germany. PHOTO: AFP