Several people are missing after a British cargo ship reportedly sank off the German coast following a collision with another vessel

The Polesie and Verity vessels collided at around 4am UK time on Tuesday, about 14 miles south-west of the North Sea island of Heligoland, apparently causing the British-flagged Verity to sink, Germany’s central command for maritime emergencies said.

One person was rescued from the water and is receiving medical treatment, while several others are still missing, the central command added.

The search operation includes rescue cruisers, police boats, a sensor aircraft and a helicopter, among other vessels.

The P&O cruise ship Iona is among those that have joined the search, according to the central command, where people could receive medical from doctors on board. More medical personnel were being taken to the scene by helicopter.

The German sea rescue cruiser Bernhard Gruben is involved in the search for missing people (Photo: Frank Kahl/Die Seenotretter – DGzRS/AFP via Getty Images)

Ship tracking data on MarineTraffic showed Verity’s last known location with about a dozen search and rescue vessels, pilot ship and emergency tug boat nearby.

Rescue cruisers Hermann Marwede and Bernhard Gruben from the German Society for the Rescue of Shipwrecked People are also involved in the search.

Christian Stipeldey, of the rescue society, told Germany’s Die Zeit newspaper that the dark and cold conditions made the search more difficult, and that it was unclear how many people have gone missing.

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