Russia praises Prince William over sea rescue

Prince William has been praised by the Russian ambassador for braving a ferocious storm to rescue the crew of a sinking ship.

Two Russian sailors were airlifted to safety by an RAF helicopter co-piloted by the Duke of Cambridge after their cargo vessel was hit by a 50 feet wave in the Irish sea yesterday.

A third man was pulled from the water but was later pronounced dead.

Sea drama: Prince William co-piloted a rescue helicopter as they
searched for the crew from the large cargo ship

The search for five missing Russian crew members from the Russian MV Swanland was continued yesterday.
Russian ambassador Alexander Yakovenko thanked William in a letter to the Duke, posted on his embassy's website.

He wrote, "All day long we were anxiously following the rescue operation searching for Russian seamen from the sunk Swanland vessel. We know that you took an active part in the rescue and the two seamen were saved thanks to your selfless effort under the bad weather conditions. Let me express to you and your colleagues my deepest gratitude for saving the lives of the Russian citizens."

The Swanland sank about 10 miles west of the Lleyn peninsula in North Wales.

William's search and rescue team, based at RAF Valley on Anglesey, was called into action when the cargo ship issued a mayday call at around 2 am when its hull cracked.

The Duke is understood to have been involved in the operation for several hours.

The two surviving members of the crew of the Cook Islands-registered vessel were pulled from the water, clinging to life rafts, soon after the alarm was raised.

The search for their five missing colleagues resumed.

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