The service of dedication was conducted by Father Huw from Pwllheli on a cold but very bright morning. Susan Fogarty recited a poem written by R.S. Thomas.
In Great Waters
You are there also
at the foot of the precipice
of water that was too steep
for the drowned : their breath broke
and they fell. You have made an altar
out of the deck of the lost
trawler whose spars
are your cross. The sand crumbles
like bread ; the wine is
the light quietly lying
in its own chalice. There is
a sacrament there more beauty
than terror whose ministrant
you are and the aisles are full
of the sea shapes coming to its celebration.
In 2010, she narrowly avoided grounding off Lizard Point, Cornwall, after her engines failed and she had to be taken in tow by the emergency tow vessel Anglian Princess and towed into Falmouth.
Swanland sank in a gale force 8 storm in the Irish Sea 10 miles off the Lleyn Peninsula, Gwynedd at approximately 0200 on Sunday 27 November 2011. She was carrying limestone from Raynes Jetty near Colwyn Bay to Cowes on the Isle of Wight.
The search and rescue mission was co-ordinated by Holyhead Coastguard and involved RNLI lifeboats from Pwllheli and Porthdinllaen, RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopters of No. 22 Squadron RAF flying out of RAF Valley and Royal Marines Barracks, Chivenor, Irish Naval Service patrol ship LÉ Róisín and an Irish Air Corps Casa maritime patrol aircraft, and Irish Coast Guard helicopters from Dublin, Waterford and Sligo, and other ships in the area – MT Bro Gazelle, MT Monsoon and MT Keewhit.
Two of the Russian crew, Roman Savin (26), and Vitaliy Karpenko (48), were rescued during the sinking with Prince William taking part in the rescue mission. A third crewman, Chief Officer Leonid Safonov (50) was later found dead during a search for survivors. The rescued crew described how a large wave broke the ship's back.
On 11 December 2011 the BBC reported that Swanland had been subject to repeated safety concerns due to unsafe loading and unloading practices that placed may have placed stress on the hull. The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) conducted an inquiry into the sinking and published its report on 27 November 2011. The synopsis of the report was as follows: