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Harbour search after 'help cry'

Rescuers have stood down the search for a missing person in a harbour.

On Sunday night Solent Coastguard was co-ordinating the rescue at the entrance of Portsmouth Harbour after a 999 call was made at 6.36pm by a member of a public who heard the missing person cry for help.

Three lifeboats, a coastguard helicopter, a police boat and a boat from the Queen's Harbour Master, the regulatory authority of the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth, were involved in the search.

Boats coming into and out of the port were not being diverted from their original course but were also keeping a lookout.

But the operation was stood down at 10.47pm after a "thorough search", a Solent Coastguard spokesman said.

The Queen's Harbour Master would continue asking people to keep a lookout as they went in and out of the busy harbour, the spokesman added.

On Sunday night, Katherine Piggin, watch manager with Solent Coastguard, said: "We are currently conducting a thorough search down both sides of the harbour entrance.

"Coastguard Rescue Officers from Portsmouth and Hillhead are on the scene.

"The Portsmouth RNLI Lifeboat and the Gosport and Fareham Independent Lifeboats have been requested to launch.

"The coastguard rescue helicopter has been scrambled. Also on scene are the police launch and the Queen's Harbour Master launch."

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