Seven Polish crewmen were lifted to safety after their German vessel Carrier ran aground whilst loading gravel.
Seven Polish crewmen were lifted to safety by a Royal Navy Sea King when their 82 metre long cargo ship 'Carrier' ran aground in Llanddulas, North Wales, on Tuesday night.
The freighter was tethered to a jetty whilst loading gravel from a nearby quarry when it broke free in Force 9 northerly gales.
It was blown onto the rocky shoreline which runs parallel to the main A55 dual carriageway.
The Liverpool Coastguard received a distress call from the 82metre long cargo ship ‘Carrier’ at 20.15 on Tuesday and the Llandudno lifeboat was launched in heavy breaking surf.
The lifeboat was unable to get close enough to the boat to rescue the crew and a Royal Navy helicopter was called to the scene.
a spokesperson for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "At 8.15 last night Liverpool Coastguard received a distress call from the cargo ship Carrier telling them they had run aground at Raynes Jetty, Llanddulas.
A strong gale was blowing and a five metre swell was reported. Because of the location of the grounding Holyhead Coastguard coordinated the rescue. All seven of the Polish crew were taken uninjured from the ship by two rescue helicopters (the first from RNAS Prestwick, the second from RAF Leconfield).
The A55 was closed to allow the rescue services safe access to the vessel. Coastguard Rescue teams from Rhyl and Llandudno offered assistance to the rescued crew whilst the RNLI lifeboats from Llandudno and Rhyl launched.
The vessel is now resting against concrete blocks on the beach at Llanddulas, which runs adjacent to the A55. Coastguard Rescue Officers, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Ambulance and Police are currently on scene with the Highways Agency. Salvage and counter pollution experts will be on site in the morning."
The lifeboat crew reported that the cable from the helicopter broke free and fell to the deck of the ship.
It is believed the helicopter winchman also had to be rescued during the incident."
As rush hour traffic built up on Wednesday morning the A55 remained closed in case the 40,000 litres of fuel on board the ship ignited.
When the ship ran aground it was carrying a cargo of stones and 40,000 litres of fuel. It is registered in Antigua and Barbuda.