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Missing at sea Search underway after man suspected of falling overboard from Rosslare bound ferry

Rosslare and Kilmore Quay lifeboat were mobilised shortly before 11 a.m. and have been following the path the ship took before docking at Rosslare.

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The Stena Estrid at Rosslare Europort.

The Stena Estrid at Rosslare Europort.

The Stena Estrid at Rosslare Europort.

A major search operation is ongoing off the Wexford coast, after a man is suspected of going overboard from the Stena Estrid before it arrived into Rosslare Europort.

The ferry had been making its way to Rosslare from Cherbourg when the alarm was raised with staff this morning by the missing man’s colleagues, who were travelling with him.

All 206 passengers and 57 crew on board were detained at the port this morning as a full headcount was carried out, but following the discovery of the man’s personal belongings, management on the ship came to the conclusion that the most likely scenario was that he had gone overboard and they notified emergency services.

Rosslare and Kilmore Quay lifeboat were mobilised shortly before 11 a.m. and have been following the path the ship took before docking at Rosslare.

Coast Guard Rescue 117 helicopter has also been carrying out sweeps along the coast.

It is believed that the man may have gone overboard between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m., the length of time passed posing a serious difficulty to his recovery.

"At this point, it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” a source close to the operation said.

RNLI volunteers are continuing the search off the coast of Tuskar Rock, but with every passing hour, the chances of the man being successfully recovered decrease.

For the company’s part, Stena Line confirmed they are dealing with a “passenger emergency” on the Stena Estrid and that the Coast Guard and Gardaí have been notified and are assisting crew.

“There are 206 passengers and 57 crew members onboard,” a company statement said. “Unfortunately, there is a delay to disembarkation; we will allow our passengers off the vessel as soon as possible.

“Our focus is now to take care of the situation and to support our passengers and crew. More information will be available as soon as possible.”

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