Prince William helps save two Russian sailors
A major rescue mission is underway in the Irish Sea after the Russian cargo ship Swanland, with eight crew aboard, sank off the Welsh coast last night.
One body has been found and five crewmen are still missing.
The two known survivors were airlifted to safety by an RAF helicopter reportedly co-piloted by Prince William.
Conditions were at least gale force 8 when a massive wave caught the 81m-long limestone-carrying ship, breaking her back. The mayday call went out just after 0200 this morning, and the Swanland sank soon after.
Another cargo ship nearby sped to help, providing shelter and lighting the scene before the lifeboats and helicopters arrived.
The rescued seamen, who are recovering in a Bangor hospital, told how their crewmates had been wearing survival suits because of the appalling conditions.
Two liferafts have been found, one of which held the two rescued men, but so far the other five crew members remain missing.
Lifeboats from RNLI Porthdinllaen and Pwllheli and four rescue helicopters from Dublin coastguard, RAF Chivenor in Devon and RAF Valley in Anglesey, where Prince William is serving, have all been involved in the ongoing search, along with several civilian vessels.
Sea conditions in the area remain ‘challenging’.
The RAF has released silent video footage of the rescue:
Photo: RAF Sea King rescue helicopter – RNLI