Prince William joins rescue of Russian cargo ship

Prince William was one of the Search and Rescue pilots who went to the aid of the cargo ship Swanland after its hull cracked due to rogue waves on Sunday

Five crewmembers are still missing following the sinking of the Russian cargo ship Swanland on Sunday.

The 265ft ship was in the Irish Sea, just 20 miles north-west of the Llyn Peninsula, on the Welsh coast, when the incident was first reported.

Two crewmembers of the ship Swanland were rescued from a liferaft by the Search and Rescue Sea King, with the second in line to the throne as co-pilot. The rescue team continued to search for the remaining crew, but lowering fuel reserve forced them to return to land.

Another team was sent out at dawn and recovered another member of the crew, however five crewmembers are still missing.

Coastguard spokesman Jim Green told the Guardian, “We are very concerned for the safety of the other crewmembers. 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.”

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The Swanland was carrying 3000 tonnes of limestone destined for the Isle of Wight. The coastguard said the damage to the ship was caused by it being battered by winds of 70 knots and 50ft waves.

Prince William is currently serving with the RAF search and rescue helicopter, based at RAF Valley, Anglesey, whilst he trains for captaincy.