Two merchant vessels collide in Bay of Biscay

Falmouth Coastguard control room
Image caption Falmouth Coastguard co-ordinated a rescue operation of the vessels

Seven seamen have been rescued after their ship collided with another vessel and sank in the Bay of Biscay, about 250 miles (402km) from Land's End.

The Florece and the chemical tanker Afrodite collided at about 03:30 GMT, Falmouth Coastguard said.

The Florece's crew left the sinking ship on two life rafts, before being rescued by a container ship - the Ocean Titan - that came to their aid.

The Afrodite's crew were able to remain on board their vessel.

Collision admission

After the collision, an emergency beacon went off, informing Falmouth Coastguard that the Dominican Republic-registered vessel was sinking.

The Cornish station contacted the nearest ship, which was the Afrodite, which admitted there had been a collision and it was involved, Falmouth Coastguard said.

The Bahamas-registered Afrodite attempted to deploy a rescue craft but was unsuccessful because of the sea swell.

Falmouth Coastguard helped co-ordinate the rescue operation with Spanish counterparts to rescue the crew of the Florece - a mix of Russians, Polish and Ukrainians.

Falmouth Coastguard watch manager Terry Collins said: "All seven crew of the Florece are safe and well which is an excellent outcome."

The Afrodite was not reported as taking on water.

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