Sinking ship triggers alert

A MAJOR collision between two ships in Dutch waters has been the focusing the attention of coastguards in East Anglia today.

A MAJOR collision between two ships in Dutch waters has been the focusing the attention of coastguards in East Anglia today.

One of the vessels - a 30,000-ton container ship called MSC Nikita - has been sinking, forcing its 25 crew to abandon her.

The Dutch vessel has also lost some of its containers, creating a slim chance of them being washed up on the British mainland.

The collision, which happened about 23 miles west of the Hook of Holland at around 10.40pm yesterday, sparked a fire in the other ship.


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The blaze broke out in the forecastle of the Nirint Pride - a 12,000-ton cargo ship from the Isle of Man - but the crew of 17 reported they had it under control.

A Dutch lifeboat rescued the crew of the MSC Nikita and took them to Holland. There were no reports of any injuries.

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A spokesman from Yarmouth Coastguard in Norfolk said they had been made aware of the situation, but did not expect to be called into action.

The collision had been in the westerly bound lane of a traffic separation scheme from the Hook of Holland.

At the time, the Nikita was on passage from Lithuania to Antwerp and the Pride was travelling from Rotterdam to Bilbao.

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