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Ships collide in North Sea, killing 4

From Dominique Van Heerden, CNN
December 6, 2012 -- Updated 2247 GMT (0647 HKT)
A red buoy marks the spot where the cargo ship
A red buoy marks the spot where the cargo ship "Baltic Ace" sank in the North Sea after colliding with a car carrier, December 5.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Search is called off for crew members missing after a ship collision Wednesday evening
  • NEW: Passing ships have been told to be on the lookout, Netherlands Coast Guard says
  • Thirteen people are rescued; seven are missing
  • The Baltic Ace began sinking immediately after the collision

(CNN) -- The search for the missing crew members from a North Sea cargo ship collision has been called off Thursday afternoon, the Netherlands Coast Guard said in a statement.

The search will not be resuming and passing ships have been told to be on the lookout, the Netherlands Coast Guard said.

At least four people are dead and seven others missing after a container vessel collided with a car carrier Wednesday evening, the Netherlands Coast Guard said.

The carrier Baltic Ace began sinking immediately after it collided with the container vessel in a busy shipping lane, about 60 kilometers (32 miles) west of Rotterdam, according to Coast Guard spokesman Peter Verburg.

Thirteen crew members were rescued and taken to hospitals in Rotterdam and at the Koksijde Air Base near Ostend, Belgium.

Those rescued were suffering from hypothermia and minor injuries, the spokesman said.

The nationality of the crew was not immediately known.

The Baltic Ace had been en route from Zeebrugge, Belgium, to Kotka, Finland; the container vessel was en route from Grangemouth, Britain, to Antwerp, Belgium.

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