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."
"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.
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.
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.
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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Firecrews have been called to the Port of Harwich after 4000 tonnes of wood chip caught fire.
Two crews from Dovercourt and one from Manningtree have been called to the scene.
Ferry operators Stena Line say they had a record number of passengers using their Harwich to the Hook of Holland service last year.
The number of passengers using the route in 2013 was up by nine per cent and the number of cars was up by eleven per cent.
A driving instructor was forced to drive from Colchester to Harwich yesterday by a man who got into his car and threatened him. Police say the instructor was in his AA Driving School car near Sainsbury's at Stanway when the man got into the back seat.
He hit the driver on the head and ordered him to take him to Harwich. At around 12.40pm the man told the victim to stop on Harwich Road in Little Oakley before running off. The victim was not seriously hurt but he was very shaken.
This is an extremely unusual set of circumstances and we are keen to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the man getting into the car. The vehicle is a black Ford Focus, with AA Driving School written on the sides. It is quite distinctive and at the time of day that this happened there would have been many other motorists and shoppers around. "He did not steal anything from the victim and at this stage his only motive appears to have been to get to Harwich but he has left a frightened and very shaken victim in his wake.
Police say the attacker was a large white man, aged around 45, with a chubby face and dark stubble. He wore a blue denim baseball cap, a grey waterproof jacket, and was around 5ft 10in to 6ft tall.
Anyone with information should ring Colchester CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Essex Police have released CCTV images of three men in connection with a burglary at a Harwich hotel.
Two Samsung laptops were taken from an apartment at the Hotel Continental in Marine Parade sometime between 9.45am and 10.10am on Friday August 16.
Anyone with information should call DC Daniel Macey at Clacton CID on Essex Police 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.