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2 ships collide off Dutch coast; evacuation underway

Associated Press

The Hague, Netherlands — Rescue helicopters began evacuating crew from a ship left drifting rudderless in a wind turbine park off the Dutch North Sea coast Monday after it collided with another ship and began taking on water, emergency services said.

The collision happened as a powerful storm lashed parts of the northern Europe. It came after Storm Malik killed at least four people over the weekend, destroying houses, unleashing flooding and leaving thousands of households without electricity.

A freighter called the Julietta D with 18 crew members on board collided with another boat about 20 miles west of the port of Ijmuiden, said Edward Zwitser, a spokesman for the Royal Dutch Lifeboat Company. The other boat also was damaged, but was able to continue its voyage.

The Dutch coast guard said the first search and rescue helicopter had arrived at the scene and begun removing crew from the ship. It gave no further details.

Three helicopters, including one from Belgium, were involved in the rescue operation.

The Juliette D suffered damage “that poses direct danger for the 18 crew on board,” spokesman Edward Zwitser told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.

A car is surrounded by flood water in Hamburg, Germany, Sunday Jan. 30, 2022, after a powerful winter storm swept through northern Europe over the weekend.

Thousands of homes in the Nordic region remained without power Monday and there were reports of flooding in North Sea and Baltic Sea harbors in the region. The western Netherlands were hard hit Monday morning with powerful gusts uprooting trees and causing traffic problems.