Overturned ship search to resume


Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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The air and sea search for the crew of a cargo ship which overturned is resuming today.

A major rescue operation was launched yesterday after the upturned hull of the Cypriot-registered Cemfjord was spotted off the north coast of Scotland.

German firm Brise of Hamburg confirmed there were eight people on board, seven Poles and one Filipino, and none have been found so far. There was no distress call from the ship, according to the company.

The Wick, Thurso, Longhope and Stromness RNLI lifeboats, the Coastguard rescue helicopter from Shetland, an RAF rescue helicopter and other vessels in the area were involved in the search of the Pentland Firth.

A spokesman for the shipping company said: “Brise of Hamburg, managers of the cement carrier Cemfjord, deeply regret to confirm that this vessel’s crew of eight are missing following a severe accident in the Pentland Firth, off the North of Scotland, yesterday (Friday, January 2).

“No distress call was received from the vessel. Bad weather prevailed in the area at the time and conditions remain difficult at the scene, with storm force winds.

“The crew consists of seven Polish seafarers and one Filipino mariner. The company is in the process of informing the families.

“The upturned hull of Cemfjord was seen by a local ferry and, in response, Shetland Coastguard mounted a major search and rescue operation. The search continued throughout Saturday and will resume at first light.”

The overnight search was limited to passing vessels, with the tug Herakles remaining on the scene to illuminate the area and warn passing shipping.

Shetland Coastguard was alerted by the NorthLink ferry Hrossey which had spotted the vessel around 10 miles east of the Pentland Skerries, about 15 miles from Wick.

The 83-metre bulk cement carrier had been bound for Runcorn, Cheshire, on the west coast of the UK.

Published: Sunday 4th January 2015 by The News Editor

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