Six crew members from the ship carrying more than 1,400 Mitsubishi vehicles, which sank last week in heavy seas off the Dutch coast, are still missing.

The 148m-long Baltic Ace with the Japanese models on board sank 15min after colliding with the Corvus J vessel in one of the busiest cargo lanes in the world that sees traffic of 16,500 ships pass through every year.

"It [collision] was about 60km off the Dutch south coast, it [ship] was carrying 1,417 Mitsubishi cars," Dutch coastguard spokesman, Peter Westenberg, told just-auto from Den Helder, 80km north west of Amsterdam.

"At this moment it is in the border of a shipping lane so we have a vessel on the scene taking to other shipping, informing [them] there is a wreckage in that position. There are four buoys so everybody can see the wreckage - it will be salvaged hopefully.

The Dutch coastguard added of the 24 crew on board the Baltic Ace, six are still missing, five are dead and 13 were rescued from a life-raft and are reported to be in good condition.

"The weather was very bad," said Westenberg. "It was a westerly wind and wave height of 4m. Where the Baltic Ace sank, it was right towards Rotterdam and Antwerp - there are about 16,500 ships that pass annual [ly]."

The Coastguard added the Dutch Ministry of Transport would now direct salvage efforts of the wreckage.