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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.

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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.”

Pair who 'jumped' from ferry were refused entry to UK

Stena Britannica Credit: Stena Line

Stena Line have released a new statement after two people were reported to have jumped from a Stena Britannica ferry travelling from Harwich to Hook in Holland yesterday (Wednesday 26 February).

A spokesperson for Stena Line said:

"Stena Line can confirm that the two missing passengers were part of a group that had been refused entry to the UK by the UK Borders Agency and were on their way back to the Netherlands but cannot comment further on their identity, as this is an issue for the UK and Dutch immigration authorities.

"The Stena Britannica arrived in the Hook of Holland yesterday evening and a thorough search of the vessel was conducted but the two missing passengers were not found."

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Stena statement after two 'jump' from ferry

"Stena Line can confirm that two passengers are currently missing from the 09:00 sailing from Harwich to Hook of Holland.

The two passengers are believed to have jumped overboard at approximately 09:45 today. The passengers were travelling on the Stena Britannica.

Stena Line can confirm that 92 passengers are currently onboard the Stena Britannica, along with 81 crew. The Stena Britannica has been assisting the Thames Coastguard in the search for the two passengers and has now been released to resume its crossing to Holland."

The ferry is due to arrive in Holland at 6.40pm.

Rescue operation off Harwich coast 'stood down'

Stena Britannica Credit: Stena Line

A major air and sea rescue operation has been stood down after reports that two people went overboard from a Stena Britannica ferry off the Essex coast this morning.

The Coastguard says they had a call just before 10am this morning from a witness saying they'd seen two people go overboard.

RNLI lifeboats were involved in the search, along with a number of other vessels including fishing and tug boats.

The RAF search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham was also used. A search was carried out along the shoreline as well.

The Coastguard is satisfied that it has carried out a full search and unless new information comes out, the units have been stood down.

Large air and sea rescue operation off Harwich

A large air and sea rescue operation is underway after reports that two people came off a ferry just off the Essex coast.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency says it happened just before 10am this morning about a mile out of Harwich, as the ferry was heading outbound.

RNLI lifeboats are also involved in the search, along with a number of other vessels including fishingboats and tug boats, that were in the area at the time.

The RAF search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham is also involved.

Air and sea search rescue off port of Harwich

An RAF search and rescue helicopter and three RNLI lifeboats are searching off the coast of Harwich after getting reports that two people had come off a ferry.

Then RNLI says it happened about a mile off the Harwich coast, as the ferry was heading outbound.

Also helping in the search are tug boats and other vessels that were in the area at the time.

It happened just before 10am this morning.

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