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Cargo Ship Sinks of f Llŷn Coast Posted Sunday, November 27, 2011 by penllyn
A mayday call was sent out from the Swanland cargo ship at around 2am this morning from 20-miles north-west of the Llyn peninsula in north Wales after the hull cracked.
Six people were initially thought to be missing, but one man was later found alive by coastguards.
Two others were recovered from the water, the Holyhead Coastguard said.
A spokeswoman said: "We had a mayday call at just after 2am this morning and it was for 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.
"Two helicopters and two life boats were sent to the scene. Two people have been recovered from the water and we are still searching for six."
Two of the 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."
The search is ongoing for the five still missing, she said.
Jim Green, from Holyhead Coastguard, said: "We are very concerned for the safety of the other six crew members. We know that at least some of them are wearing immersion suits and have strobe lighting with them, however sea conditions are challenging at best."
He added that the 81-metre cargo carrier was carrying 3,000 tonnes of limestone but it appears to have sunk.
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 Duke of Cambridge, who qualified as an RAF Search and Rescue Force (Sarf) helicopter co-pilot last September, is based at RAF Valley.
It is not yet known whether he is involved in the search and rescue operation.
The original two helicopters from RAF Valley and the Dublin Coastguard have now been replaced with helicopters from RAF Chivenor and the Irish Coastguard, said the Marine and Coastguard Agency.
Lifeboat crews from RNLI Phwllheli and Porthdinllaen are assisting in the search.
An RNLI spokeswoman said: "Porthdinllaen all-weather lifeboat was launched in gale force winds and rough seas at 2.30am to a cargo vessel in distress with a damaged hull. Phwllheli all-weather lifeboat was also launched.
"A short while later the 80 metre cargo ship sank. A helicopter from RAF Valley rescued two of its crew. The two RNLI lifeboats, along with four search and rescue helicopters and two other commercial boats, are searching for the remaining six crew."
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