Cruise ship Iona has joined the search for the missing crew of a British cargo ship that sank in the North Sea.
The P&O Cruise’s ship is also providing medical help for anyone in need.
One person is already believed to have been rescued from the sea and is receiving medical help.
There were 22 crew onboard the British cargo ship Verity when it collided with another cargo vessel off the coast of Germany.
The German ship remained afloat, but reports say the British ship, which was sailing towards Lincolnshire, sank.
A passenger onboard the Iona told The Sun newspaper that passengers were woken just before 6am this morning with an announcement that the ship had joined a search and rescue operation.
He described the situation as ‘incredibly distressing’, telling The Sun: “Everyone on here is sad and concerned and in a state of panic.”
Iona had left Hamburg yesterday and was heading for Rotterdam when the two tankers collided, about 200 metres away.
The cruise ship is on a seven-day roundtrip Northern European City Escapes cruise, which left Southampton on 21 October. It is due to arrive in Rotterdam tomorrow.
Iona could have up to 5,204 passengers and 1,762 crew onboard.
A P&O Cruises spokesperson said: “P&O Cruises Iona is currently involved in a search and rescue operation off the coast of Germany.
“The incident is ongoing and Iona’s cooperation complies with international maritime law as well as being consistent with the company’s moral and legal obligations.
“Iona is scheduled to be at sea today and this event should have no impact upon tomorrow’s scheduled call to Rotterdam or the onward itinerary.”
It has been reported that the search efforts are being hampered by 30mph winds and 10-foot waves.