Two ships collide off the coast of Netherlands prompting evacuations, 18 rescued

Two ships have collided off the Dutch coast in the storm-hit North Sea and one began taking on water, prompting an evacuation, according to emergency services.

The Julietta D, a freighter with 18 crew members on board, collided with another boat about 32km west of the port of Ijmuiden, Edward Zwitser, a spokesman for the Royal Dutch Lifeboat Company, said on Monday.

The other boat, an oil and chemicals tanker, was also damaged but was able to continue its voyage, the Dutch coast guard said in a statement.

It said that all crew members were rescued, but did not immediately provide more details of the rescue on the high seas amid powerful winds.

Three helicopters, including one from Belgium, were involved in the rescue operation.

The Maltese-registered Juliette D suffered damage “that poses direct danger for the 18 crew on board”, Zwitser told AP.

Rescue efforts are hampered by Storm Corrie, which is causing wind gusts of up to 120km/h on the North Sea.

Thousands of homes in the Nordic region remained without power on Monday and there were reports of flooding in North and Baltic Sea harbours in the region.

The west of the Netherlands was hit hard on Monday morning, with powerful gusts uprooting trees and causing traffic problems.