Search for Verity survivors called off after tragic North Sea collision


Five seafarers died after two cargo ships last week collided off Germany’s North Sea coast, in the German Bight south west of the island of Heligoland, in the early hours of 24 October.

The Isle of Man-flagged 3,600dwt Verity (IMO Number 9229178), a 2001 Dutch-built vessel operated by Faversham Ships of the UK, was carrying steel from Bremen to Immingham when she was involved in a collision with the Bahamian-registered Polesie, a 2009 handymax bulk carrier sailing from Hamburg to Spain, at about 04:00 local time on October 24.

The smaller vessel, manned by seven, crew sunk while the Polesie remained afloat. The German Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) received the alarm just before 05:00 and immediately began the search and rescue operation, succeeding in saving two survivors and recovering one body despite the heavy weather conditions. Crew from the P&O cruiseship Iona, sailing close by at the time, assisted with the search.

On October 27 the Isle of Man Ship Registry issued a statement confirming that the MRCC had called off their search and rescue operations and “despite the best efforts of all involved, four crew members remain unaccounted for. The two surviving crew members remain in hospital, with a further crew member sadly confirmed deceased.

“The Ship Registry’s thoughts are with the seafarers that sailed on board the Verity, their families, friends and loved ones.”

The IoM Ship Registry wishes to thank all of those who have been involved in the search and rescue efforts over the past days. The team will continue to work with the relevant authorities in the ongoing investigations being conducted by the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).