Hartlepool lifeboat joins search for missing ferry passenger

A large scale operation is being carried out to find a passenger reported missing from a ferry.
Members of the Hartlepool RNLI.Members of the Hartlepool RNLI.
Members of the Hartlepool RNLI.

Shortly after 12.15pm today, HM Coastguard was notified of a missing passenger on a DFDS ferry that was on route from the Netherlands to North Shields, Tyneside.

The search and rescue helicopter is continuing to search in the area and lifeboats from six RNLI stations including Filey, Scarborough, Whitby, Hartlepool, Tynemouth and Blyth, have joined the operation.

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It is believed the alarm was raised two and a half hours after the ferry docked, when luggage was found in a cabin.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said: "The passenger, a foreign national aged in his 60s, was travelling on board the ferry, but did not depart the vessel upon arrival in North Shields and cannot be found on board.

"Enquiries are ongoing to trace the man, contact his next of kin and establish the circumstances around his disappearance."