North West Wales

Inquest into Russian crew deaths on sunken MV Swanland

The Swanland cargo carrier
The ship took about 15 minutes to sink, an investigation found

An inquest into the deaths of six Russians sailors who died when their cargo ship sank off the coast of Gwynedd in 2011 will be held in May.

Just two of the eight-man crew survived when the hull of the MV Swanland snapped in a storm as it carried quarry stone from a jetty near Llanddulas.

An investigation found the ship suffered a "catastrophic structural failure" before it sank.

A five-day hearing will now take place in Caernarfon from 19 May.

The incident happened on 27 November 2011, when the ship was caught in a storm off the Llyn Peninsula in the early hours of the morning.

A report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch found the ship sank in about 15 minutes.

A major rescue operation was launched and two of the eight crew members, Roman Savin and Vitaliy Karpenko, were winched to safety by a rescue helicopter team.

The body of a third crew member was recovered from the water later, but the bodies of the five remaining crew were never found.

Underwater surveys of the wreckage found a significant structural failure had occurred close to the middle of the ship on both the port and starboard sides.

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