Wednesday 22 November 2017

One body found, five missing after ship sinks in Irish Sea

Press Association

One body has been recovered in the search for the six Russian crewmen who are missing after their cargo ship sunk in gale force winds in the Irish Sea early this morning.

An Air Corps Casa aircraft and two Irish Coastguard helicopters are involved in the search operation, which saw two men being pulled from the water soon after the alarm was raised.

A mayday call was sent out from the Swanland cargo ship at around 2am this morning after the hull cracked. The ship was 20 miles north-west of the Llyn peninsula in north Wales.

A Holyhead Coastguard spokeswoman said: "We had a mayday call at just after 2am this morning and it was for a cargo ship with eight people onboard.

"It had a cracked hull so some other vessels went to the scene and they provided shelter for the people that were in the water."

The two men recovered were airlifted to safety and taken to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales.

The spokeswoman said: "I haven't got much information on their condition but I have heard that they are okay."

Prince William, who qualified as an RAF Search and Rescue Force helicopter co-pilot last September, co-piloted the helicopter which rescued the two men after the ship was hit by an "enormous wave".

Gale-force winds battered the Irish Sea during the early hours of the morning and the Coastguard believe this could have been what caused the incident.

The 81-metre cargo carrier was carrying 3000 tonnes of limestone from Colwyn Bay to Cowes in the Isle of Wight.

Holyhead Coastguard watch manager Ray Carson said: "The two men recovered from the water were brought here before going to the hospital. I think they are OK and are just suffering from shock.

"In broken English and through drawing a diagram, the second officer told us the ship was hit by an enormous wave. It rolled the ship and it broke its back. He said this led to a catastrophic failure of the vessel."

Last August, the Swanland cargo vessel came close to going aground on rocks at Lizard Point, Cornwall.

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