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Passenger falls from cruise ship off Isle of Wight

A passenger has reportedly fallen overboard from a cruise ship off the Isle of Wight.

The man is understood to have fallen into the water from the Ventura as it was returning to Southampton, Hampshire, from a two-week trip to the Mediterranean.

A Coastguard helicopter and RNLI lifeboats have been involved in the search of an area with a 25 nautical mile radius south of St Catherine's Point on the Isle of Wight.

The P&O ship, which can carry up to 3,200 passengers, retraced its route across the area to assist in the search.

A Coastguard spokeswoman said: "We have a lifeboat from Yarmouth searching along with a Coastguard helicopter and we are still broadcasting to all shipping to look out for anything in the water."

Steven Fagioli posted on the ship's Facebook page: "Late back, lost a passenger overboard last night. Search continuing with coastguards etc".

A P&O Cruises spokesman said: "Following reports of a missing person earlier this morning, Ventura conducted a full search of the area off the coast of the Isle of Wight.

"As a result of this search, which has now been handed over to the Coastguard as is usual in these instances, Ventura's scheduled arrival into Southampton this morning is delayed."

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