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.
The Sun 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.
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 a statement to the newspaper, 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 180 degrees in the water mid-morning.
has contacted AIDA, the German cruise ship operator which runs the AIDAperla, for comment.
This is a breaking news story – more to follow.