Six seamen are missing and two others rescued after a cargo vessel sank amid bad weather in the Irish Sea, coastguard officials said on Sunday.
The crew of the 81-metre carrier, the Swanland, raised the alarm early today when the vessel was off the north Wales coast.
They reported the hull was thought to have cracked in bad weather and the ship was taking on water.
The carrier, with 3,000 tonnes of limestone onboard, disappeared 32 kilometres north-west off the Lleyn peninsula.
Two RNLI lifeboats, with four search and rescue helicopters and two commercial boats, are searching for the remaining six crew, the BBC reported.
Holyhead coastguard, who are co-ordinating the rescue, said they were very concerned for the missing men.
Jim Green, from the station, said: "We are very concerned for the safety of the other six crew members."
"We know that at least some of them are wearing immersion suits and have strobe lighting with them, however sea conditions are challenging at best," he added.
Jo Groenenberg, also from Holyhead coastguard, said weather and sea conditions are difficult, with gale force eight winds.
One helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey and another from Dublin Coastguard were at the scene.
Two people who were clinging to life rafts were rescued and airlifted to RAF Valley on Anglesey.