Alan Stafford named as man found dead in Portsmouth Harbour after falling from Wightlink Ferry: Here’s everything we know so far 

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The man who died after falling from a Wightlink ferry in Portsmouth Harbour has been named as Alan Stafford. 

The 58-year-old, of Craneswater Park, Southsea, was a BAE Systems port operator based at Portsmouth’s Naval Base.

Alan Stafford who died after falling from a Wightlink ferry in Portsmouth Harbour

Alan Stafford who died after falling from a Wightlink ferry in Portsmouth Harbour

His family have paid tribute to ‘lovely’ Big Al – as he was also known. 

Here is everything we know so far: 

Man reported missing

A major rescue operation was launched in Portsmouth Harbour on the morning of August 29 after reports that a man had fallen from a Wightlink service. 

A major rescue mission was launched after Alan fell from the ferry last week. Picture : Habibur Rahman

A major rescue mission was launched after Alan fell from the ferry last week. Picture : Habibur Rahman

The ferry was heading to Fishbourne in the Isle of Wight. 

The man's fellow passengers alert staff on the ferry that he had gone overboard at 10.30am. 

Read More: Man missing after ‘falling off Wightlink ferry in Portsmouth’: Everything we know so far

Two RNLI lifeboats from Portsmouth joined forces with two Ministry of Defence police vessels and the Coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-the-Solent to search Portsmouth Harbour for the man after the authorities were alerted. 

Both Hillhead and Portsmouth coastguard rescue teams were also involved.

At one point during the rescue operation today a desperate plea was sent out by the coastguard, which begged for more vessels in the area to join the hunt, with a number of craft heeding the plea.

However the mission was called off by the RNLI after three hours.

And the man was reported as being missing. 

Body found in harbour

Emergency services were called to Portsmouth Harbour on Monday (September 3) morning to reports that a body had been found. 

The first emergency call-out came at 7.16am with Hampshire and Ministry of Defence police officers being called to the scene. 

A lifeboat from the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service was also called out to help. 

Read More: Man’s body found in Portsmouth Harbour: Here’s everything we know so far

Later in the morning it was confirmed that a body had been found in the water close to Haslar Wall in Gosport.

The body was handed over to Hampshire Constabulary who identified the man as a 58-year-old man from Southsea.

The death is not being treated as being suspicious. 

Tributes paid to ‘Big Al’ 

Alan Stafford’s family confirmed that he was the man whose body was found in Portsmouth Harbour. 

Read More: Family’s tributes to ‘lovely’ Big Al who died after falling from Wightlink ferry

Fondly known as Big Al or Algie, the 58-year-old is survived by five sisters Tricia Trevett, Chrissy Adams, Lesley Toovey, Kate Upsall, and Suzy Louth, who have been devastated by his death.

His family have paid tribute to him calling him ‘lovely’ and a ‘kind-hearted, gentle and caring’ man.