A mayday call was sent out from the Swanland cargo vessel at around 2am from 20-miles northwest of the Llyn peninsula in North Wales after the hull cracked.
Two men were recovered from the water, then airlifted to safety and taken to RAF Valley in Anglesey, Wales.
A spokeswoman for the Holyhead Coastguard said: "I haven't got much information on their condition but I have heard that they are okay."
But the other six people are still missing and the search is ongoing for them in sea conditions which are described as "challenging at best".
The spokeswoman said: "We had a mayday call at just after 2am this morning and it was for a cargo ship with eight people on board.
"It had a cracked hull so some other vessels went to the scene and they provided shelter for the people that were in the water." Read More