Major search underway after reports of man falling off Wightlink ferry near Portsmouth Harbour

A SEARCH and rescue mission is currently underway after reports of man falling off a Wightlink ferry near Portsmouth Harbour.

Two RNLI lifeboats from Portsmouth, the HM Coastguard search and rescue helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent, and both Hillhead and Portsmouth coastguard rescue teams are all involved.

Portsmouth Harbour. Picture Shaun Roster

Portsmouth Harbour. Picture Shaun Roster

It’s understood the ferry was on the Portsmouth to Fishbourne route.

Harbour patrol vessels, a Royal Navy vessel, police boats and private boats are also assisting.

Aaron Gent from Portsmouth RNLI said: ‘The lifeboat is currently in service and searching for a person in the water.

‘The lifeboat was discharged at 10.52am in relation to the Isle of Wight ferry and in between the Portsmouth and Fishbourne route.’

HM Coastguard has also broadcast a relay to vessels in the area requesting they respond, and assist with the search.