Fred. Olsen Cruise Ship Passenger Missing After Falling Overboard

October 12, 2010

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.

We'll keep you posted.

--by Kelly Ranson, U.K. Editor