The Dutch coastguard has halted its search for six crew members who went missing after two vessels collided in the North Sea on Wednesday.
In all thirteen people were rescued, and five were found dead.
In the freezing conditions there is little hope the missing will now be found alive.
The Balctic Ace, a car carrier flying under a Bahamas flag, sank after coming into contact with the Corvus J, a container ship from Cyprus.
It is believed human error is probably to blame for the crash.
The vessels collided on in a major shipping lane around 90 km from Europe’s biggest port, in Rotterdam.
Rescue-boat Captain, Eric Rodenhuis, described how it got increasingly harder to find what was left of the vessel:
“Searching, and hoping to see something. In the beginning we found a lot of rubbish, life buoys, life jackets, rafts, but after a few hours you see less and less, because it drifts away.”
It is reportedly too early to say whether the Balctic Ace can be salvaged from the sea bed.
The coastguard said the Corvus J was not badly damaged in the crash and is still in the area.
Balctic Ace wreck: coastguard ends search for survivors