Northern Ireland

Search for missing ferry passenger suspended

The Spirit of Britain arrives in Dover
Image caption The man went missing from a P&O ferry

An air and sea search for a man who went missing from a P&O Highlander ferry in Cairnryan has been suspended.

The man was reported missing by a coach driver after the ferry docked at about 0930 GMT.

The ferry was searched and a Royal Navy rescue helicopter and lifeboats from Larne, Portpatrick and Stranraer searched Lough Ryan.

Coastguards said it did not appear that the man had gone overboard.

A Clyde Coastguard spokeswoman said: "We had to do the search because of the possibility that someone went overboard from the ferry but it now does not look as if that is the case."

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said police in Northern Ireland had also been informed.

Ferry operator P&O said: "We can confirm that a passenger who was part of a coach party that boarded the 0730 sailing from Larne to Cairnryan, on the European Highlander ferry, was reported missing on arrival in Cairnryan.

"P&O Ferries has conducted a search of the ship and is assisting authorities with their investigations as to the whereabouts of the passenger, including whether the person may have left the ship in a different vehicle."