'Deeply sad' | 

Body found on Co Down beach identified as missing Stena Line passenger

It has been reported that the man is from Limerick and he was described as a ‘high-risk missing person’

Lagan Search and Rescue search Belfast Lough after reports of a person entering the water from a ferry on October 30, 2022 (Photo by Kevin Scott for Belfast Telegraph) © Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

General view of Farmhill Road and Seapaprk Beach at Holywood, Co. Down, where a body was discovered last week. (Photo credit: Press Eye)

Kurtis ReidBelfast Telegraph

A man’s body which was found on a beach in Co Down last week has been identified as a passenger who went overboard from a Stena Line ferry.

The body was found on on Thursday 17th November on a beach near Farmhill Road.

Belfast Harbour Police have now confirmed the body was that of a man who went missing from a Stena Line ship on Saturday 29th October.

A major search operation was launched at the end of last month in Belfast Lough after the man was believed to have entered the water while travelling on the Belfast and Cairnryan service in Scotland.

It’s believed he went overboard just prior to the ship’s arrival in Belfast Harbour.

The Irish News later reported it was believed the man was from Limerick and he was described as a “high-risk missing person”.

Emergency crews including the Coastguard, RNLI and Lagan Search and Rescue responded to a mayday call at around 9.30pm when the Stena Line ferry’s fast response craft was launched. A Rescue 199 helicopter was also deployed.

The search was later stood down with Belfast Harbour Police overtaking the investigation.

General view of Farmhill Road and Seapaprk Beach at Holywood, Co. Down, where a body was discovered last week. (Photo credit: Press Eye)

The man’s body was later discovered on the beach, which is popular with runners and dog walkers on Thursday 17th November, with Alliance Party MLA Andrew Muir saying the “discovery had left local residents distressed”.

"News a body has been found at the popular Seapark beach in Holywood is deeply sad and no doubt distressing for local residents,” he said.

The body is not be confused with another man who went missing while travelling via boat. The body of Michael McGirr was recovered earlier this month after he went missing from a boat in Co Fermanagh on 29th October.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Belfast Harbour Police said: “Belfast Harbour Police can confirm that the body recovered from a beach near Holywood on Thursday (17th November) has been identified as the person who went missing from the Stena Line ferry on October 29.

"There are no further details we can provide at this time.”


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