Six sailors missing off Wales: coastguard

27th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

Six sailors were reported missing off the coast of Wales on Sunday after the hull of their cargo ship ruptured in a violent storm, the British coastguard said.

The 81-metre (265-feet) vessel, the Swanland, sent out a distress signal around 2:00 am (0200 GMT) from the Irish Sea, it said in a statement.

The ship, which is now believed to have sunk, was transporting 3,000 tonnes of limestone.

Two other sailors were found in the water clinging to lifeboats and saved, but "we are very concerned for the safety of the other six crew members", coastguard official Jim Green said.

"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," he said.

The nationality of the sailors was not immediately known. The BBC said the ship was owned by a Britain-based company, Torbulk, and shipping websites said it was carrying the flag of the Cook Islands.

Boats and helicopters continued the hunt for the missing men in choppy seas on Sunday.

© 2011 AFP

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