Drifting cargo ship sinks

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The cargo ship Ice Prince - which was abandoned by its crew after she listed to 40 degrees off the Devon coast - has sunk, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed.

The Greek-registered ship, which was carrying a cargo of 5,258 tons of sawn timber, sank at 12.45am.

Twenty crew were rescued by helicopter and lifeboat in storm conditions last night from Ice Prince after the vessel's cargo of timber shifted and she listed.

A spokesman for the MCA said: "At a quarter to one, the general cargo vessel Ice Prince sank in very rough weather approximately 26 miles south south east of the Portland Bill.

"She had been monitored throughout the evening and night by the French Coastguard tug Abeille Liberte and a further JP Knights tug, the Anglian Earl. Salvors are aboard both tugs.

"Portland Coastguard along with their French Coastguard colleagues in Cross Corsen are warning other approaching shipping of the hazards in the area.

"Just before she sank, the crew of the Abeille Liberte reported that further deck cargo had been lost to the sea and that the angle of the list had increased, but that visibility is very poor at present in very rough weather.

"The tug is remaining on scene to act as a guard ship to the wreck."

Shipping has been warned about the shed cargo of timber.