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'Missing' ferry passenger hunt ends

A major sea search has been called off after a woman was reported to have gone overboard from a ferry in the English Channel.

The passenger was reported missing just after 1.30am when the Pride of Kent ferry was around six miles (10km) off the coast of Dover.

HM Coastguard said a "massive search" was launched after the ferry crew alerted Dover Coastguard to say they feared the woman had gone overboard.

In a statement, the Coastguard said a helicopter from Lee-on--the-Solent, RNLI lifeboats from Dungeness, Dover and Walmer, a lifeboat from Calais and a tug boat from the Port of Dover were all involved in the search.

A Coastguard spokesman said that after the ferry arrived at Calais, a head count established that all crew and passengers were accounted for, although the search continued after a witness insisted they saw someone go overboard.

But at 9.30am the search was called off.

The spokesman added: "The area has been extensively searched overnight and into this morning with nothing found. Unless any new information comes to light, the search has been stood down."

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