Search called off with five missing after ship sinks

Only two survivors as rescue operation including Prince's helicopter is abandoned

Coastguard and RNLI lifeboats braved gale-force conditions yesterday in a determined effort to save five sailors after their ship sank. The body of one fellow crew member was recovered while two others were rescued. Last night, after 14 hours of searching in "horrendous" conditions, the rescue operation was called off with the light failing.

The ship's two life rafts were spotted from the air, washed up on a remote island and a coastal peninsula. There were no signs of life although attempts to reach them proved too dangerous.

Prince William co-piloted an RAF Sea King helicopter which rescued two of the Russian crew in the early hours of yesterday morning after the 81m (265ft) cargo ship Swanland sank some 10 miles west of the Llyn peninsula in north Wales.

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."

The cargo ship, carrying 3000 tonnes of limestone from Colwyn Bay to Cowes on the Isle of Wight, was hit by a force eight gale in the Irish Sea in the early hours of Sunday. Five of the men were on deck and three below when the wave hit, and it quickly sank.

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 cargo ship sank. A helicopter from RAF Valley rescued two of its crew."

Last night the Ministry of Defence confirmed that the Duke of Cambridge was among a team piloting two Sea King helicopters dispatched from RAF Valley in Anglesey after the mayday call.

Yesterday four RNLI lifeboats, two search and rescue helicopters from RAF Chivenor and the Dublin Coastguard, as well as a fixed-wing aircraft, three coastguard teams and an Irish naval vessel all continued to comb a 300 square mile area in stormy conditions. Two nearby cargo ships also offered their help.

By late yesterday fears were mounting that the five men could not have survived the conditions, although some are believed to be wearing specialist immersion suits equipped with strobe lights.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "We have found both the life rafts – one at Bardsey Island and one at Braich Y Pwll. An inshore life boat did try to get to one but the conditions are still pretty horrendous and they can't be thoroughly searched. We have not seen any signs of life."

In August last year the Cook Islands-registered Swanland was cautioned after it came close to going aground on rocks at Lizard Point in Cornwall. The ship, with a crew of nine, had suffered engine failure in high winds as it carried a cargo of stone in the early hours of 20 August. With a lifeboat at the scene, Falmouth Coastguard's emergency towing vessel Anglian Princess successfully brought the ship to safety without any casualties.

people And here is why...
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
voicesBy the man who has
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson star in The Twilight Saga but will not be starring in the new Facebook mini-movies
tvKristen Stewart and Stephenie Meyer will choose female directrs
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Twerking girls: Miley Cyrus's video for 'Wrecking Ball'
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA/BA - Agile

£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client are currently seekin...

PPA Supply Teachers

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prima...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per annum: Randstad Education Luton: Early Years, KS1 & 2 Prim...

Primary Supply Teacher

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Primary supply teacher Hertford...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?