Live updates

Historic Harwich ferry route to be axed later this year

The DFDS route will close later this year. Credit: PA

A historic ferry route between Harwich and Esbjerg in Denmark will close later this year due to rising costs and falling passenger numbers.

The DFDS route, which runs 2 or 3 times a week currently, will stop on 29 September.

It first started way back in 1875.

The route first started back in the 19th century. Credit: PA

DFDS say that passenger numbers have dropped from 300,000 to 80,000.

The company tried to slash costs by reducing the number of crew members and transforming the route into a combined freight and passenger service.

However, the level of investment required to meet new environmental standards coming into force next year proved to be too great.

"Unfortunately we haven't been able to reduce costs enough to enable the route to bear the very high additional costs of around £2m a year," said CEO Niels Smedegaard.

"This is what the new environmental law and the requirement to use low-sulphur oil will cost based on current oil prices from 1 January 2015.

"The route is of particular historical significance to DFDS so it's a very sad day for us all.

"Our regrets go to our many passengers who must now see the last passenger ferry route between the UK and Scandinavia close.

"It's also regrettable that up to 130 jobs on board and ashore will be affected by the closure, even though we are fortunate that we can offer jobs to everyone onboard on other routes."

Mums on the march over maternity closures

Baby on protest march in Clacton Credit: ITV Anglia

Mums and mums-to-be joined a march to protest at the temporary closure of maternity units in Clacton and Harwich. The hospital trust in Colchester says the closure is to cope with a shortage of midwives.

The trust's decision to close Clacton and Harwich units will be reviewed in mid June.

Mums on the march in Clacton Credit: ITV Anglia
Protestors march over closure of maternity units Credit: ITV Anglia


Fight for maternity units continues

Campaigners hoping to save the maternity units at Clacton and Harwich are organising a protest march.

Clacton Hospital Credit: ITV Anglia

They were closed last month on a temporary basis with services being transferred to Colchester Hospital.

Protestors will march through Clacton on Saturday. They're hoping it will show the strength of feeling in the community against the closure.

Pressure to re-open two Essex birth units

There's growing pressure on health chiefs in Essex to reverse their decision to temporarily close maternity units at two hospitals.

The units at Harwich and Clacton were shut on 17 March because of a shortage of midwives.

The Board of Directors of Colchester Hospital University NHS Foundation Trust will review the decision in June.

Women booked to give birth at the maternity units at the community hospitals will be offered a choice of a home birth or delivery at Colchester General Hospital.

The MP for Clacton Douglas Carswell says a lot of people are angry about the decision.


Body found on beach identified as Albanian ferry passenger

A body found washed up on the beach at Felixstowe has been confirmed as that of Leonovid Isufaj, an Albanian national who is believed to have gone overboard from a ferry that left Harwich on February 26. Police said the body, found on Thursday, had been in the water for some time.

It's been identified as Mr Isufaj, who was 27 years old. Suffolk Police say his death is being treated as unexplained pending the results of a post mortem examination, however there are not thought to be any suspicious circumstances.

An inquest will be held in due course.

Washed up body could be passenger who 'jumped from ferry'

Police are investigating whether a body found washed up on a beach in Felixstowe is one of the men who went overboard from a ferry near Harwich last month.

A quantity of Euro currency was found on the body which was discovered this afternoon.

On February 26 the ferry company Stena Line said that two passengers had jumped from a ferry travelling from Harwich to the Hook of Holland.

The company added that they were part of a group who had been refused entry to the UK by the UK Borders Agency.

Man's body found washed up on Felixstowe beach

A body has been found washed up on the beach at Felixstowe.

Police were contacted just after 12.30pm to reports of a body on the beach near Buregate Road.

The body is thought to have been in the water for some time.

The body is believed to be that of a man.

Police are making efforts to identify him and have found a quantity of Euro currency on the body.

Suffolk Police are liaising with their Essex counterparts following the find.

Burglars walk into unlocked house - and walk out with a television

Detectives are urging people to remember to lock-up their homes after burglars were able to walk straight into a house in Harwich - and walk out with a widescreen television.

The break-in happened at Hordle Street between 11am and 12 noon on Sunday.

The burglars took the television and some jewellery.

DC Bernadette Lord, said: "The owner had popped out for just an hour, returning to find their home had been burgled by intruders who clearly did not care who saw them which is why we’re certain that someone would have seen a man walking down the street with a large, unboxed television.

"It really is important for people to close and lock their windows and doors whether they are inside or outside and regardless of whether they are just nipping out for a few minutes.”

Load more updates