Originally published in the Daily Post
THE Russian ambassador has called for the rescuers involved in saving the lives of two crew of a ship that sank off the Llyn coast to be rewarded.
The MV Swanland sank in heavy seas and force nine gales around 10 miles off the Llyn peninsula on November 28 at around 2am. It currently lies between 70 and 80 metres under the Irish Sea.
The owners of the vessel, Torbulk Ltd, have said the families of the Russian crew members have asked them to look into a travel package to visit the area to pay their respects.
A temporary exclusion zone has been put up one nautical mile from the location of the wreck. Ships going through the area are asked to keep a lookout for any signs of the wreck or survivors.
Holyhead coastguard watch manager Jim Green said: “There is no intention at the moment to carry out any future search.”
He added the weather has not helped, near constant gales making any rescue operation very difficult.
An Irish light survey vessel, the Granuaile, has been performing side scans of the ship to see what lies beneath the surface.
Two of the Russian seamen – Vitaliy Karpenko and Roman Savin – survived the disaster after managing to get into a rescue raft. One dead member of the crew was recovered by search and rescue teams – five others have not yet been found.
The Russian Ambassador to the UK, Alexander Yakovenko, wrote a letter, published on the Russian embassy website, in which he expressed his thanks for the rescue efforts.
He said: “We know you took an active part in the rescue and the two seamen were saved thanks to your selfless effort under the bad weather conditions.”
The rescue involved two RAF helicopters, three Irish coastguard aircraft, and two RNLI lifeboats from Pwllheli and Porthdinllaen.
Two inshore lifeboat crews from Abersoch and Trearddur Bay were sent after an empty liferaft was spotted near Bardsey island. Also in the rescue were four Coastguard shore teams searching for any debris.
The Swanland cargo ship, registered in the Cook Islands and owned by Grimsby-based Torbulk Ltd, was heading from Llanddulas, where it picked up a consignment of limestone, and was on course for Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
One of the RAF helicopters was co-piloted by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William.