One person has died and four others are missing after two cargo ships collided off Germany’s North Sea coast.
Two of the seven crew members on board the British-flagged Verity, which sank after the accident, were rescued.
Rescue efforts are continuing and the German coastguard said divers were searching the shipwreck on the sea floor for signs of life.
The Verity reportedly collided with the Bahamian Polesie at around 5:00 local time (3:00 GMT) on Tuesday morning.
The Verity was on its way to the UK, carrying steel from the northern German city of Bremen to Immingham in Lincolnshire, when it collided with the Polesie, which had departed from Hamburg on a journey to La Coruña in Spain. None of the 22 crew on the Polesie were injured.
The incident happened off the coast of Heligoland, a German archipelago which is part of the state of Schleswig-Holstein.
Two sea rescue cruisers from the German maritime search and rescue service, a German navy helicopter and a water police boat were used in the search efforts, the rescue service said.
The Iona, a P&O cruise ship that was in the area, also contributed to the search. Passengers were informed at around 5:30am that the ship was helping with search efforts. The company confirmed to ITV that the Iona had fulfilled its obligations under “international and moral law”.
The Iona, which left Southampton on Saturday bound for stops in Hamburg, Rotterdam and Bruges, has since been “released” to continue its journey.
In a statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, German Transport Minister Volker Wissing thanked rescue crews and said every effort was being made to rescue the missing people.
The cause of the collision is still unclear.