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Search for missing sailors called off

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 05.01.2015 08:46
A bid to find potential survivors of a capsized cargo ship that was manned by seven Poles and one Filipino ended on Sunday night in the Pentland Firth off Scotland's northern coast.

Thurso RNLI lifeboat involved in the search. Photo: RNLI/Mary Harris

The upturned cement carrier Cemfjord was first spotted on Saturday afternoon by a passing ferry, but a two-day search has revealed no sign of life.

''The lifeboats completed their search areas earlier this afternoon and returned to shore,'' a statement released by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) confirmed on Sunday.

''The helicopter, coastguard rescue teams, fixed wing aircraft and HMS Somerset continued to search but sadly, by last light this evening nothing was found.

''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.

At present, it remains unclear what caused the ship to capsize and sink.

No distress call was sent out by the vessel.

“The Marine Accident Investigation Branch has been informed and is about to begin work on the investigation,” the MCA noted.

Meanwhile, Scotland's Rural affairs secretary Richard Lochhead has paid tribute to rescue workers and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

''Our thoughts are with the families of the missing crew at this difficult time,'' he said.

The cargo ship had been transporting 2,000 tonnes of cement from Aalborg, Denmark, to Runcorn in Cheshire, England. (nh)

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