Search for baby called off as police say reports of ferry incident were incorrect
POLICE have called off a major search for a baby they had feared had fallen from a ferry on its way to Scotland.
They say they believe reports that an infant fell from a ferry on its way to Scotland were incorrect.
The operation was sparked after a woman plunged from the Stena Line boat as it made its way into port from Cairnryan last night.
The 37-year-old Belfast woman was rescued within 15 minutes.
She was taken to the city’s Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment, where she is in a stable condition today.
It was reported at the time of the incident that a baby had also entered the water with the woman.
That prompted extensive searches that began last night and continued this morning.
But after a complex police investigation, which included interviewing the woman’s family, officers said they no longer believe a child was in her care at the time.
A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokesman said: “Police have called off the search operation in Belfast Lough which began yesterday evening after a report that a baby had gone into the water with a woman who was later rescued.
“Following an extensive search operation involving several agencies and volunteers and after enquiries with the 37-year-old woman and her family, police now understand the report of a baby going into the water was incorrect.
“Police do not believe there was a baby in the woman’s care on the ferry.
“The woman, who is from Belfast, remains in a stable condition in hospital.
“Police enquiries are continuing.”
The incident happened in the lough, close to Holywood, Co Down, at around 6.10pm on a busy shipping route for passengers and freight between Northern Ireland and Scotland.
Agencies, including the police helicopter, the Irish Coastguard and the RNLI were involved in the search operation.