Canadian ship sinks off Brazilian coast, all rescued

13:50, February 20, 2010      

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Canada expressed Friday thanks to the "swift and heroic" rescue efforts by the Brazilian Navy and merchant vessel crews following the sinking of a Canadian ship several hundred kilometers off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. (File Photo: Xinhua/Reuters)

The Brazilian Navy on Friday announced it has rescued all the passengers aboard a Canadian ship which sank off Rio's coast on late Thursday.

All the 64 passengers of the sailing ship Concordia are in good health,according to the navy.

The ship, carrying students from 10 different countries, along with their teachers and the crew, sank about 555 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.

It sent a distress signal on Thursday evening after facing strong winds. When the rescue teams arrived at the site, Concordia had already sunk, and survivors were scattered in four boats.

The vessel belonged to Canadian West Island College International, which offers a Class Afloat program that provides students with an educational experience while sailing all over the world.

Concordia had already visited Europe and Africa since leaving Canada in September, and it had just begun a five-month semester program on leaving Recife in Brazil's northeast Feb. 8.

It was scheduled to dock Tuesday in Montevideo, Uruguay, then head to several islands in the Atlantic and to southern Africa and the Caribbean before returning to Canada.

The Canadian West Island College International said it has already contacted the passengers' families, and that it will work with the Brazilian authorities to offer assistance to the survivors and to repatriate them as soon as possible.

Source: Xinhua
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