The All Weather Lifeboat was launched from Bembridge at around 07:15 this morning after being tasked by Solent Coastguard to reports that a crew member from the cruise ship MSC Opera had not been accounted for upon arrival in Southampton. After inspecting the vessel’s CCTV footage, it was clear that the unknown crew member jumped from the ship at around 01:30 this morning.
Alongside Bembridge, Selsey lifeboat was launched as well as Coastguard Rescue 104 helicopter from Lee-on-Solent to conduct a comprehensive search around 17 nautical miles South of Ventnor. A Mayday call was also issued via marine radio.
Coastguard Rescue 104 is continuing to search the area this morning.
UPDATE @ 13:10 – The search has this afternoon been called off and crews have now stood down.
UPDATE WEDNESDAY: Cruise operator MSC Cruises have today announced the identity of the missing crew member as Elroy Fernandes, 33 – an Indian national.
Mr Fernandes has still not been located.