Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Search for overboard Ventura passenger called off

Ventura Image copyright P&O
Image caption The ship turned around to search for the missing person

Rescue teams have called off a search for a passenger who is reported to have fallen overboard from a cruise ship off the Isle of Wight.

The man is believed to have fallen from Ventura at about 04:30 BST as it was returning into dock in Southampton from the Mediterranean.

An air and sea search by the RNLI, coastguard and other vessels was carried out for almost 12 hours.

The P&O cruise ship retraced its route for several hours to aid the search.

Vessels in the area are being asked to maintain a look out for the missing man, the coastguard said.

Ventura, which left Southampton on 27 September, was due to return to the city at 07:00 BST but delayed its arrival to 12:30 BST following the search.

Passengers on board posted on the ship's Facebook page.

"Atmosphere is sombre as you can imagine and my thoughts go out to the passenger's family. So so sad," Kieron Baker said on the page.

Helen Snape said: "The coastguard along with the RNLI have been searching relentlessly since the early hours. Thoughts go out to the gentleman's family."

The cruise ship, which can carry up to 3,600 passengers and 1,200 crew, was expected to leave Southampton for Zeebrugge at 19:45 BST as scheduled.

Image copyright Google
Image caption Coastguard crews searched a 25sq nautical mile area of sea off St Catherine's Point lighthouse

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