A man who fell from the 10.30am Fishbourne to Portsmouth Ferry as the vessel reached the harbour entrance in Portsmouth is still missing and unaccounted for. A major search operation involving a number of emergency service has now been turned into a recovery operation. Wightlink crew onboard the St Cecilia launched rescues boats and the master made Mayday call to the UK Coastguard just before 11am on Wednesday morning.
Search and rescue crews have carried out a full search of the area using a helicopter and two lifeboats nothing has been found by the crews nor has the man been recovered. The search has been stood down until more information becomes available. Services on the Portsmouth Fishbourne route have resumed as has other harbour traffic movement. Hampshire Police have confirmed that they have opened an investigation into the reports of a person jumping from the St Cecilia officers are working with staff to check CCTV and Passenger Lists.
The Bembridge lifeboat was also launched as previously reported at 11.55am this morning in response to a request from UK (Solent) Coastguard to assist and act as the on-scene commander in the on-going search for a ‘man overboard’ close to the entrance of Portsmouth Harbour.
Two MOD Police launches, Portsmouth RNLI’s Atlantic 85 & D-Class lifeboats, the Coastguard helicopter (Rescue 175), local Coastguard teams and a number of other vessels were involved.
After a detailed and thorough search both outside and inside the harbour failed to locate the missing person, the search was scaled down and the ‘Alfred Albert Williams’ was released to return to Bembridge; she was back in the Boathouse by 2.30pm