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3 sailors missing after collision on the North Sea

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October 7, 2013 06:30 AM EST | AP


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Three sailors are missing in the North Sea after two boats collided off the northern coast of the Netherlands.

The Dutch Coast Guard says three of the five-man crew of a ship called the Maria, which guards offshore oil rigs, are unaccounted-for after it collided with a fishing boat, the Texel 68, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the naval port of Den Helder in the early hours of Monday morning.

Two of the Maria's crew members were quickly rescued by the Texel 68 and a large search operation is underway to find the others.

The Coast Guard says divers are preparing to inspect the wreckage, while boats, helicopters and an airplane are searching for the sailors, whose nationalities have not been released.