Inquest rules on cargo ship tragedy off North Wales coast
Staff reporter (NW Chronicle)
Tuesday 20 May 2014 15:06
VERDICTS of misadventure were returned by an inquest jury on six Russian crewmen who drowned when their cargo ship broke apart and sank in a storm off north Wales.
Two sailors were saved by an RAF rescue helicopter from Valley, Anglesey, co-piloted by Prince William.
Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones at Caernarfon today (Tuesday, May 20) urged the jury to avoid making recommendations because there had already been a Marine Accident Investigation Branch report into the Swanland sinking off Gwynedd in November 2011.
The coroner said its conclusions went far beyond the inquest and were an international matter. "There has been a massive investigation," he remarked.
The ship was carrying a cargo of limestone from a quarry at Llanddulas,near Colwyn Bay, to Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
Two of the crew managed to swim clear and were rescued from a liferaft.
The body of the chief officer was recovered from the sea during an extensive air and sea search.
The wreck was later found on the seabed twelve miles off the coast at a depth of around 250ft.
All eight crew were Russians. The country's ambassador to Britain sent a letter to Prince William which thanked the search and rescue teams for their efforts.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch report found a number of safety issues involving the Swanland.
A"lack of maintenance" was stated as likely to have been a "major contributing factor" to the structural failure.