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Search and rescue boat on the sea

A cargo ship is presumed to have sunk in the North Sea after a collision earlier today (24 October).

According to German authorities, the British-flagged Verity and Bahamian Polesie collided at 5am local time off the German coast, near the German Bight, in the North Sea.

The Verity is believed to have sunk, while the Polesie is buoyant.

Collision reported

The Verity was heading from Bremen to the UK port of Immingham at the time of the incident, while the had left the German port of Hamburg and was heading to La Coruña, in Spain.

The cause of the collision is still unknown and it is not yet known what goods were being carried by the either ship.

The Polesie carried a seven-person crew.

According to Sky News, two have been rescued, four crew members remain missing and one body has been recovered from the water.

A full-scale rescue effort has been launched and is said to be ongoing.

Rescue operation

The BBC reports that German search and rescue teams, a naval helicopter and a police boat are involved in the search. A cruise ship, which was in the vicinity of the accident, is also contributing.

The FT reports that the medical staff on board the cruiser Iona has been told to expect casualties.

Volker Wissing, German’s transport minister, said that rescuers were doing everything they could to save the missing people, and that his thoughts are with the crew members and their families.