Major hunt underway after man 'falls overboard' on cruise ship

Major hunt underway after man ‘falls overboard’ on cruise ship off coast of Kent

  • Coastguard and lifeboat crews called out to assist after alarm raised 

A search and rescue operation has been launched for a man who is reported to have fallen overboard from a cruise ship off of the south-east coast of England. 

Lifeboats and Coastguard crews have been dispatched to an area of the English Channel close to Ramsgate, on the east Kent coast, after receiving reports of a man falling from the vessel on Sunday morning.

The Coastguard says it is co-ordinating the search after being alerted to the incident by the RNLI, which received a call at 8.20am and sent out all-weather lifeboats from bases at Ramsgate and Dover.

ITV News reports that the man had been on board German cruise ship AIDAperla, which was making its way from Hamburg to Las Palma in the Canary Islands, according to data from tracking service Cruisemapper.

Journey data from MarineTraffic, another tracking service, shows the cruiseliner passing Lydd on the south coast at around 8.10am UTC (9.10am UK time) before beginning to turn around.

Two all-weather lifeboats have been dispatched to assist with the search and rescue effort (file picture)

The man is said to have fallen from the AIDAperla cruise ship (pictured: another AIDA cruise ship, the AIDAsol, in 2020)

A Coastguard search and rescue helicopter is also involved in the search and rescue effort (file picture)

Tracking data for the AIDAperla cruise ship shows it made a U-turn on Sunday morning when it was en route to the Canary Islands

The tracking data also suggests that two RNLI lifeboats and a search and rescue helicopter remain at the scene as of 1pm.

The Coastguard says it also sent one of its search and rescue airplanes, which is reported to be equipped with high-tech radar equipment that can detect people in the water from the sky.

In a statement to MailOnline, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘HM Coastguard is coordinating the search for a man reported overboard from a passenger ship off Ramsgate on 22 October.

‘HM Coastguard was alerted at about 8.55am. The HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter has been sent from Lydd alongside a Coastguard fixed-wing aircraft and the RNLI’s all-weather lifeboats from Ramsgate and Dover.’

The boat, which left Hamburg on Friday evening, is currently sitting off of the English coast; eyewitnesses said the boat turned 180 degrees in the water mid-morning.

MailOnline has contacted AIDA, the German cruise ship operator which runs the AIDAperla, for comment. 

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