A major search operation is being co-ordinated by Shetland Coastguard in search of crew of a capsized cargo vessel in the Pentland Firth.
Four lifeboats, two rescue helicopters and other vessels are searching for the crew of the Cypriot-registered Cemfjord, a cargo ship, reported to be carrying cement.
The upturned hull of the 83metre vessel was found by the NorthLink passenger ferry the Hrossey, this afternoon.
Search continuing for crew of Cemfjord which sank in Pentland Firth. This picture by passenger on NorthLink ferry. pic.twitter.com/zJDd1JSxww
— James Shaw (@JGBS) January 3, 2015
Shetland Coastguard was contacted by the ferry crew at 2.30pm to report that the hull of the cargo vessel had been found, but there were no survivors in the immediate vicinity.
The cargo vessel was last seen at 1pm yesterday. Eight crew were on board.
At about 5.20pm, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said, the Wick, Thurso, Longhope and Stromness RNLI lifeboats, the coastguard rescue helicopter from Shetland and the RAF rescue helicopter, along with other vessels in the area were searching for the crew, east of the Pentland Firth.
Bill Farquhar from the Wick RNLI station, told the BBC: “We got a call this afternoon about two o’clock that the Shetland ferry – the Hrossey – she had spotted the hull of a coaster upside down 10 miles east of Pentland Skerries.
“The last known position on marine traffic was at quarter past one yesterday, so that was the last known position we had of the ship.
“The weather at that time yesterday was pretty, pretty, bad.”
He added: “I don’t know what happened after that and I don’t think anyone does to tell you the truth.”