Debris from the sunken cargo ship Cemfjord has been found on the seabed off Scotland by a sonar-mounted search vessel.

Remains of the cement carrier were found along with an unused liferaft on Monday; however, there has been no sign of the seven Polish seafarers and one Filipino mariner who were on the ship when it sunk on Friday.

The coastguard suspended the search for the missing crew on Sunday evening.

Managers of the vessel Brise Schiffahrt Hamburg said in a statement on Monday: “It is with great sadness that Brise of Hamburg, operators of the capsized cement carrier Cemfjord, report that the extensive air and sea search in the Pentland Firth has produced no trace of the missing crew of eight.”

Cyprus-flagged Cemfjord was transporting 2,000t of cement from Aalborg in Denmark to the UK port of Runcorn, when it capsized and sunk in the Pentland Firth on Friday.

“It will take some time to put the picture together because, sadly, we’re not in a position to interview the crew and the vessel is submerged.”

Passenger ferry Hrossey spotted the sinking ship and alerted the coastguard.

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Brise Hamburg’s spokesman Tony Redding said that sonar searches will continue for a day to assess the recovery of the ship.

The Press Association quoted Redding as saying: “Bad weather must have played some part in what happened but it will take some time to put the picture together because, sadly, we’re not in a position to interview the crew and the vessel is submerged in around 68m (223ft) of water.

“We look for abnormalities and at the moment we don’t have any apart from the fact that there was severe weather at the time.”

Image: Cement carrier Cemfjord was found sinking in the Pentland Firth on Friday. Photo: courtesy of RNLI / Wick.