Cargo Ship Goes Down Quickly After Collision

Tuesday, February 15, 2000
A Portuguese-owned cargo ship sank in 90 seconds after colliding with a larger Italian vessel last Monday, and 13 of its 14 Spanish crew were feared dead, officials said. Rescuers found three bodies, including the ship's captain, and 10 were missing after the 4,313-ton Portuguese MV Zafir and the 14,398-ton MV Espresso Catania collided seven miles (10 km) from Punta Stilo on the Calabrian coast, Rome port officials said. The cause of the collision was not immediately known. One crew member from the Portuguese vessel, a 24-year-old ship mechanic, was rescued by the crew of the Italian ship. Coastguard speedboats, three merchant vessels and three fishing boats searched for the missing crewmen in clear weather as night fell on Monday, but officials said the chances of surviving for hours in the cold water were slim.

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