The Manx-registered cargo ship Verity collided with the Bahaman-registered vessel Polesie early this morning, 24 October 2023, according to the German Central Command for Maritime Emergencies, Havariekommando.
The Verity is currently believed to have sunk, according to a statement provided by Havariekommando. The number of people currently missing has not been released by Havariekommando, with one person reportedly rescued and receiving medical care.
A number of ship and aircraft are searching for survivors in an area focused approximately 12 nautical miles southwest of Heligoland and 17 nautical miles northeast of Langeoog.
Havariekommando reports that the Verity was on its way from Bremen, Germany to Immingham in Lincolnshire, England.
This tragic incident has cast a grim shadow, reminding the maritime community of the inherent dangers at sea. The Isle of Man Ship Registry had listed VERITY as an active vessel, registered on 16 Sep 2004. Owned by Casper Chartering Limited and managed by Faversham Ships Ltd, the vessel has a principal place of business listed in the United Kingdom. However, some managerial aspects are rooted in the Isle of Man.
The vessel, measuring 85 meters in length and 13.75 meters in breadth, was constructed with a steel hull by Tille Scheepsbouw Kootstertille BV in the Netherlands.
As rescue operations unfold, the Hermann Marwede, a sea rescue cruiser, is coordinating the search on site. Other vessels and aircraft, including the Bernhard Gruben, Nordic, Wangerooge, Sylt and a SAR helicopter “Sea King” of the German Navy are actively involved in the search and rescue operations. The nearby cruise ship Iona is also supporting the search efforts, offering medical care to those rescued.
At 11:14am, the Isle of Man Government issued a statement confirming much of the reports above, saying “The collision occurred in the early hours of this morning and there is currently an ongoing search and rescue operation being coordinated by the German Coast Guard and involving numerous other vessels which are within the vicinity.”
24 October 2023 Update at 10:42: Corrected “2024” to “2023” in the opening paragraph.
Update at 10:52: Uploaded source documents below.
Update at 11:20: Added comment from Isle of Man Government in the final paragraph above, and uploaded full statement below.