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The crew of a chemical tanker have been rescued after a collision with a bulk carrier in the English Channel.


Twelve people have been rescued by the coastguard helicopter based at Leigh-on-Solent and another 10 by the St Peter Port lifeboat from Guernsey.


The vessel Ece, which is carrying 10,000 tonnes of phosphoric acid, is listing heavily and said to be in danger of sinking.


The carrier, General Grot-Rowecki, is believed to only be slightly damaged.


An RAF search and rescue helicopter from Chivenor in Devon is at the scene. There are no reports of injuries.


The second ship involved, General Grot-Rowecki, is believed to only be slightly damaged.


The alarm was raised at about 0220 GMT when the vessels collided 28 miles north west of the Channel Island of Guernsey.


RAF Search and Rescue teams and coastguards from Guernsey and Alderney joined French counterparts.


The crews abandoned their boats after the incident and donned lifejackets as they waited for assistance.


All crew members have been taken to hospital in Guernsey.


The RAF Aeronautical Rescue Co-ordination Centre at RAF Kinloss said it had been a textbook rescue operation.


Flight Sgt Tim Dickinson told the BBC: "We were very fortunate because the sea conditions were benign.


"The rescue helicopter picked up 12 casualties while the lifeboat attended to the other 10."


Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/devon/4664564.stm



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