Cargo ship which claimed the lives of 6 crew suffered 'severe structural failure'

The ship had been carrying 2730 tonnes of limestone loaded near Llanddulas Photo: Athena Picture Agency Limited

An investigation has found that cargo ship Swanland suffered a "catastrophic structural failure" before sinking off the coast of North Wales.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch have release their interim report revealing the ship suffered the structural failure on 27th November 2012, claiming the lives of six of its eight Russian crew. The ship took approximately 16 minutes to sink.

The wreck of the Swanland is now lying in a depth of water of approximately 80m, 12 nautical miles off the west coast of Wales.

An extensive air and sea search commenced immediately involving four lifeboats and several rescue helicopters.

At 0315, the first of the rescue helicopters arrived on the scene and spotted 2 survivors. The search for the six missing crew men continued among a large amount of floating debris. The seaborne search for the missing crewmen terminated at 1100 on 28th November.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch say technical investigations are now nearing completion and it is anticipated that a final investigation report will be published in 2013.