A cargo ship carrying 1,400 Mitsubishi vehicles from Japan and Thailand collided with another vessel off the coast of Belgium and the Netherlands yesterday. The 485-foot Baltic Ace was carrying cars from Zeebrugge, Belgium to Kotka, Finland when it collided with the 439-foot Corvus J. While the Corvus J sustained damage during the incident, it is not in danger of sinking, and its 12-man crew is currently still on board.

The Baltic Ace, meanwhile, went under. Three ships from the Royal Dutch Sea Rescue Organization, two navy vessels, four helicopters and one coastguard aircraft spent the evening searching for survivors, but rough seas and high winds hampered the effort. Eighteen of the Baltic Ace's crew, including the captain, were rescued after being found in life rafts, but six remain missing. The search for survivors has officially been called off.

The collision occurred in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the North Sea, and the managers behind the Baltic Ace said they believed human error was to blame for the incident. Dutch police are currently looking into whether or not they can investigate the sinking despite the fact that the collision took place outside of the country's territorial waters.


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  • 164 Comments
      Kelly Carmichael
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have worked as an engineer in the Merchant Marine industry. I am amazed there is more concern over 1400 lost vehicles that can be replaced but there is only one line about the people that have died. Those that died were most likely from the engine room crew that are at the very lowest point of the ship. It also amazed me that these two ships have the technology in the wheelhouse that enables them to see exactly what direction they were headed, where the oncoming ship is headed, how fast and even predict for the high winds. There would have also been alarms going off telling both navigation crews that there is an object headed towards them and is on collision course. Lets get real, people died due to the inactivity of those that were supposed to be at the helm of the ship. Those licensed that were in charge should be charged with manslaughter, neglect, endangerment and anything else they could be charged with. Most of all, I wish we could charge people for being STUPID.
        mrjackpot
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kelly Carmichael
        Mr. Carmichael. My deceased father, William, was also an engineer in the Merchant Marines...during WWII, so I certainly have an appreciation for the dangers that M/Ms face--during times of peace and war--so, I salute your service. I also gave your post a 'thumbs-up." I'd like to clarify your statement, if I may, regarding "...the inactivity of those (who) were supposed to be at the helm of the ship." I suspect that a better description would be "flagrant incompetence and criminal negligence" in lieu of simply "inactivity." You're absolutely right that these modern vessels are equipped with very advanced technology making it virtually impossible for these kinds of collisions to occur. So, absent any technological or mechanical failure beyond the control of the navigation crew, this would certainly be a clear case of dereliction of duty.
      Shiftright
      • 2 Years Ago
      Always hard for me ti understand how two massive slow moving ships in the open sea can collide with each other. Having said that, my condolences to he families of the ones lost at sea
        speterjr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        Those ships weigh thousands of tons, and it takes miles for them to decelerate to a complete stop in water. Just imagine trying to bring a tractor-trailer to a stop from highway speeds on an icy road, and multiply that by about a thousand.
        Josh
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Shiftright
        Yeah you know how I know to never trust someone like you with a boat?
      brgtlm
      • 2 Years Ago
      Very unfortunate about the loss of life. About the cars - Mitsu is probably making more money on the insurance than selling their crappy cars cheap. Wonder what they will be able to salvage.
      John Hughan
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm surprised that there are missing crew members even after the search party. I'd have thought even with rough waters, a lot of them could have been picked up by the Corvus J -- it was right there, after all.
        Rob
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Hughan
        That's a nasty chunk of ocean
      Ray C
      • 2 Years Ago
      How many more cars must die, mister speaker. We must pass some more tough laws to keep these cars from going under. L O L
      Kuro Houou
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's so sad, you would think two vessels that large would steer clear, I could see if it was as small vessel hit by a large one, but these were two large ships.. either way is a tragedy life was lost in the accident :(
        Rob
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        Human beings aren't always as reliable as the cars they drive
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe he was just following his iphone maps for sat-nav...
      Jeffrey
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is a very good start!
      Will
      • 1 Year Ago
      That is a loss to Mitsubishi (but really, the shipping co.'s insurance company) of roughly $35,000,000 and a priceless loss of life to the shipping company of which no insurance company can compensate. A very expensive tragedy all around....
      Fritos4Free
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yes, they should have made more mention about the deaths, but for those of you commenting about how they should be reporting the deaths, not the loss of the cars, you do realize this story was posted on a AUTOBLOG.COM??....a site dedicated to cars.
      Anubis
      • 1 Year Ago
      Too bad the ship was not loaded with trolls.
      Dont think so
      • 1 Year Ago
      Maybe someone was more interested in texting than driving, eh?
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