Capsized cargo ship drifts off French coast in rough seas

PARIS – A cargo ship listing nearly 90 degrees in the water is drifting empty off the coast of France, as maritime rescue workers wait for the seas to calm.

The captain of the capsized Modern Express, sailing with a load of wood in the Bay of Biscay, 300 kilometres (180 miles) off the coast of France, sent out a distress call on Tuesday and its crew of 22 was evacuated by Spanish helicopters.

France’s coastal authority said the ship, with its deck nearly in the water, was being prepared Friday for towing. A team of four experts are to board the listing vessel later in the day amid swells up to 5 metres (16 feet).