Emergency services launch 'full-scale' Solent search effort after woman feared to have fallen overboard from Wightlink ferry

AN EXTENSIVE search across the Solent and Portsmouth shoreline was called off after earlier reports about a women missing from a Wightlink ferry were found to be mistaken.

Wednesday, 10th February 2021, 10:44 am

The search followed reports that a 30-year-old woman had bought a ticket at Wightlink’s Fishbourne car ferry terminal yesterday lunchtime, but she had not disembarked when the ferry arrived in Portsmouth.

Cowes RNLI lifeboat was launched to take part in an extensive search of the Solent, where ‘the choppy sea was whipped up by a strong and bitterly cold easterly wind’, according to a statement from the lifeboat service.

Also braving the elements in the search were several rescue teams from across the area, including lifeboats from Ryde and Gafirs from Gosport, Portsmouth lifeboat, and the Lee-on-the-Solent coastguard helicopter, while coastguard teams from Bembridge, Ventnor and Portsmouth were tasked to investigate the relevant shorelines.

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A 'full scale' search effort was launched yesterday over fears that a woman had gone overboard from a Wightlink ferry. Picture: RNLI

Thankfully, it was the earlier reports that had gone overboard – as police concluded that the woman had in fact disembarked at Portsmouth.

Cowes lifeboat returned to station just before 4pm.

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