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News - 20/04/14

Cowes bound cargo vessel Swanland sinks in the Irish Sea

Swanland cargo ship in Cowes HarbourThe Swanland cargo ship broadcast a Mayday signal at 0200 on Sunday morning when its hull cracked in storm force conditions, 20 miles northwest of Llyn peninsula in north Wales. The vessel and its Russian crew of eight were on route to Cowes with a cargo of limestone.

Rescue ships and helicopters from the Coastguard and the RNLI were sent to the scene and managed to rescue two of the crew from their life raft in the stormy waters. The body of one of the crewman was later recovered, but there is no sign of the remaining five sailors.

The Swanland was a regular visitor to Cowes, last calling only two weeks ago and was bound for Cowes on her ill-fated voyage.

Cowes Pilot Rod Hodgson commented: “I had the pleasure of piloting the vessel on many occasions and always found the Captain and crew a pleasure to work with being extremely welcoming, friendly and of the utmost professionalism; everyone who had dealings with the vessel are shocked and saddened on hearing this tragic news.”

Stuart McIntosh, Cowes Harbour Master, said that the Commissioners and the team at Cowes Harbour Commission send their deepest sympathies to the missing sailors’ families and the owners of the vessel.