Spanish cargo ship splits in half off French coast

A military helicopter evacuated the 12-man crew of a Spanish cargo ship that slammed into a jetty in choppy Atlantic Ocean waters off south-western France.

Crew members are lifted from the ship Credit: AP Photo/Bob Edme

The cargo ship, which normally carries fertiliser, split in half after hitting a sea wall in high winds.

Waves break against a Spanish cargo ship Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The hold of the 100-metre-long ship, the Luno, was empty when the accident occurred.

Authorities have raised a pollution alert along the coast of the town of Anglet, because of fuel spilling into the water.

The ship split into two. Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

The cargo ship's stern half drifted on to the shore, while the bow remained stuck on the rocky jetty.

The ship hit a sea wall off the southwestern coast of France Credit: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau

South-western Europe, including France's western coast, has been battered by high winds and waves in recent days.