All six crew members on board the Barbados-registered Sea Breeze vessel have been rescued by Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboats, as the ship started sinking off Lizard Point in Cornwall.
The 257ft ship was carrying a cargo of limestone from Liverpool to Shoreham in West Sussex on 9 March, when it raised an alarm at 7am to report a flooded engine room.
RNLI boats, coastguards and a rescue helicopter from Royal Naval Air Service, Culdrose, were launched to the assist the sinking cargo ship.
Rescue teams tried to pump water out of the Sea Breeze coaster, but the crew had to evacuate the ship as the pumps could not cope with the ingress of water.
The Falmouth RNLI lifeboat rescued all of the Sea Breeze’s crew, while the captain was airlifted on to The Lizard RNLI lifeboat. He was later transferred to a Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel, HMS Tyne, that took part in the rescue operation.
The Falmouth lifeboat then returned to the Cornish town of Falmouth, with five crew members of the cargo ship and the Lizard lifeboat crew and pumps.
A salvage tug Vortex from Falmouth is on-scene and HMS Tyne has been standing by the Sea Breeze.
Falmouth Coastguard is currently dealing with the vessel and cautioning other shipping in the area.