One dead, five missing in Irish Sea sinking

November 27, 2011 21:22

LONDON - One man has been found dead and five are missing after a Russian-crewed cargo ship sank in gale force weather overnight in the Irish Sea, Britain's coastguard agency said on Sunday.

Two men clinging to life rafts were airlifted by a rescue helicopter co-piloted by Prince William, son of heir-to-the throne Prince Charles, a defense ministry spokesman said.

They were taken to hospital and a search was extended across a 300 square mile (780 sq km) area of sea some 20 miles (32 km) off the coast of north Wales.

The 81-meter vessel Swanland, carrying 3,000 tonnes of limestone, issued a mayday call at 0200 GMT reporting that its hull was cracking in the bad weather and taking on water.

William, who married Catherine Middleton at London's Westminster Abbey in April, is serving as a Royal Air Force search and rescue helicopter pilot at a base in Anglesey on the Welsh coast.

He has taken part in a number of previous rescues, the defense ministry spokesman said.

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