28/11/2011

Shipwrecked Sailors Search Moves To Shallows

The search for five missing Russian sailors is continuing after finding limited traces of the ship and crew and is now moving to a 'low water' search.

The men were onboard the Swanland, a cargo ship that suffered 'catastrophic failure' and sank in gale force conditions in the Irish Sea on Sunday morning.

According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), 11 coastguard rescue teams and an RAF helicopter have completed a search of the North Wales coast on Monday.

A spokesman revealed that although some additional wreckage including a life-jacket and a life-ring have been found, the missing seafarers have still not been located.

The search for the five seafarers began at 8am and covered 105 miles of coastline from Holyhead to Aberdovey.

"Although that search is now complete, coastguards will carry out a short low water search from 3.00 pm until dusk," the spokesman said.

Five lifeboats, six helicopters, four coastguard rescue teams, three merchant vessels, an Irish naval patrol vessel and a fixed wing aircraft searched the area of approximately 300 square miles.

"The only sign of the missing seafarers was their two life-rafts, a lifebuoy from the vessel and a survival suit."

Holyhead Coastguard Watch Manager, Ray Carson said: "Sadly we still have not been able to locate the missing seafarers. We will carry out one final search at low water today".

(DW)

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