Assistance following Baltic Ace ship collision

On December 5, 2012, a major shipping incident took place when the  Baltic Ace car carrier collided with the container ship Corvus J outside the port of Rotterdam. The Baltic Ace, which was carrying a crew of 24 from Bulgaria, Poland, Ukraine and the Philippines, sank at record speed following the collision.

The Ministry of Defense’s Sea King helicopter was deployed in the rescue attempt. It picked up seven crew members from the water and flew them to Koksijde Air Force Base. In view of the number of victims involved, the Medical Intervention Plan was deployed.

At 9.34 p.m. the province of West Flanders received an alarm. Twenty minutes later, the first equipment was at the scene. Red Cross West Flanders immediately dispatched two RRT vehicles, its command vehicle and six ambulances to Koksijde Air Force Base. An Advance Medical Post was established at the scene and an emergency mortuary set up. Many of the survivors were suffering from acute hypothermia. They were taken to the nearest hospitals, two to Veurne and five to Ostend.

Thanks to close cooperation between patrol vessels from Friesland and Groningen in the Netherlands, the Belgian Ministry of Defense and Belgian Red Cross-Flanders, 13 crew members were able to be rescued.

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