THE search for eight missing seafarers from the cement carrier Cemfjord has been suspended.
Coastguards said they had found no sign of the seven Polish and one Filipino crew members.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency stood down the search on Sunday afternoon after the 83 metre vessel had sunk in the Pentland Firth.
The Marine Accident Investigation Branch will now start its probe to establish what happened to the cargo vessel, which was last seen at 1pm on Friday.
The owners, Brise of Hamburg, confirmed that no distress call had been received from the vessel.
The search for survivors was launched on Saturday afternoon after the passenger ferry Hrossey discovered the overturned vessel floating in the eastern part of the Pentland Firth.
Four lifeboats, two search and rescue helicopters, and coastguard rescue teams from Kirkwall, St Margaret’s Hope, Duncansby, Scrabster and Wick were all involved in the search. HMS Somerset and her helicopter also joined the search.
A MCA spokeswoman said the families of the missing crew had been notified.
“The Coastguard will continue to broadcast messages to all shipping requesting that they are informed about any information or sightings that could be related to the vessel,” she added.
The Cemfjord was on passage from Aalborg, in Denmark, to the UK port of Runcorn, carrying a cargo of 2,000 tonnes of cement.
- Footage from Thurso RNLI lifeboat The Taylors of the upturned hull of cargo vessel Cemfjord, taken on Saturday night.