Update, 1 p.m. EDT: Kent Police has said in a statement that its investigation has proved inconclusive. The search for the passenger was called off late yesterday.
(6 a.m. EDT) -- An elderly passenger is missing after going overboard from Fred. Olsen's Balmoral on Monday.
The 79-year-old British man was reported missing from the 43,537-ton, 1,360-passenger ship off the French coast in the English Channel at around 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
Fred. Olsen confirmed in a statement that it alerted the French authorities, and is now working with both the French and British Coastguard. A thorough search of the ship took place to find the man, without success.
A British Coastguard helicopter was sent from Portland, Dorset, and a Royal Navy warship, HMS Westminster, also offered assistance in the search. A French Coastguard fixed-wing aircraft had also been deployed, along with a French warship, but as night fell, the search proved unsuccessful.
Balmoral had been on a three-week Adriatic cruise and returned to Dover this morning as planned. Kent Police confirmed to Cruise Critic that officers boarded the ship to continue with the investigation.