LONDON (AP) — Russia's ambassador to Britain says he's hailed the effort of Prince William and Royal Air Force colleagues to rescue crew members of a sunken cargo ship.

William, an RAF search and rescue co-pilot, was deployed in gale force winds early on Sunday, after the Swanland cargo ship sank in the Irish Sea.

All eight members of the crew were Russian.

Two sailors were rescued by William's helicopter, but one person was found dead and five others remain missing.

In a letter, Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko said Monday that the two men were saved thanks to William's "selfless effort under the bad weather conditions."

The ship went down after its hull cracked amid stormy conditions off the coast of north Wales.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.