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article imageStudents rescued after Canadian tall ship Concordia sinks Special

By Kevin Jess     Feb 19, 2010 in World
Rio De Janeiro - The SV Concordia, a Canadian based tall ship, has sunk off the coast of Brazil after a battle with very strong winds. All 64 passengers were rescued from life rafts Friday.
The Lunenburg, Nova Scotia-based tall ship sank approximately 555 kilometres (300 miles) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro Thursday night, reports Puggal.
The ship, owned by Class Afloat, West Island College International uses the ship as a floating classroom for senior high school and first-year university students and was currently on an educational voyage.
The SV Concordia was en route from Recife, Brazil, to Montevideo, Uruguay, as part of a 10-month voyage when it sent out a distress signal at 2:00 p.m. EST Thursday.
The Brazilian navy picked up the signal and sent out an alert to vessels in the area who were able to rescue all 64 passengers, including 43 students and 16 staff, reported Associated Press.
A spokesperson for the school in Lunenburg said this afternoon, "other than some minor discomfort from being in the rafts, everyone is fine."
He said, "The air temperature in the area was around 28 degrees Celsius," so it wasn't uncomfortable for the passengers. The status of the ship in still unknown but is believed to have sunk. He added, "We're just so relieved that everyone survived and is doing well. That was our priority, the kids."
The Captain of the ship has confirmed to the school that all passengers have been accounted for said a school press release.
Lawrence Cannon, Canada's Foreign Minister reportedly thanked "Brazilian authorities who led a search and rescue operation and acted swiftly to assist the ship and its passengers.''
The SV Concordia was built in 1992. It is a 57.5-metre ship with a 35-metre mast and 15 sails.
The passengers have been taken to Rio de Janeiro and will be repatriated as soon as possible.
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