Woman Missing After Falling Overboard Into Icy North Sea From Cargo Ship

Story By: Georgina JadikovskaSub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency:  Newsflash

Rescue workers have called off the search for a 24-year-old woman who fell overboard into the icy cold waters of the North Sea from a cargo ship.

The unnamed woman was working on the Santa Clara cargo ship when she fell from a platform for as-yet unknown reasons.

The incident took place near the headwaters of Weser River and the German city of Bremerhaven on 7th February.

YPS, Peter Neumann/Newsflash

The air temperature at the time of the accident was 8 degrees Centigrade while the water temperature was only just above freezing.

The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Bremen was alerted that a female crew member had fallen overboard from the 300-metre long container freighter at around 3.45am.

Several rescue boats and police boats were involved in the search, including a helicopter which flew over the entire area but has now been called back to base after the police said there was no chance the woman would still be alive in the North Sea.

At the time of the incident, there was a grade 10 Beaufort scale (over 62 mph) storm taking place, the air temperature was minus eight and the water temperature was two degrees Celsius.

The Beaufort wind force scale is a widely accepted empirical measure that relates wind speed to observed conditions at sea or on land.

The search was made much more difficult due to extremely low water levels during the night (two metres below normal water levels).

Despite immediate and extensive action initiated by the rescue units, no trace of the woman could be found, according to the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service.

The Santa Clara, sailing under the Danish flag, has meanwhile reached the Bremerhaven seaport.

The Bremen water police are still investigating the cause of the accident and have not ruled out continuing the search at low tide, although it is likely to be for the woman’s body rather than a rescue operation.

The woman who fell overboard was not named but is believed to be from the Philippines.

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