RESCUE crews were scrambled this morning (Tuesday) to search for a man believed to have jumped off a cruise liner.
Solent Coastguard helicopter and Bembridge RNLI Lifeboat were called to search an area about 17 miles south east off the Isle of Wight, after the man was reported missing.
An RNLI spokesman said it was believed he jumped overboard as the liner made its way to Southampton. The man was a crew member, according to an RNLI tweet.
Vessels in the area were asked to keep a lookout, according to the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA).
The air and sea search started shortly before 6.30am.
*At about 1pm an MCA spokesman confirmed CCTV footage had shown the man jumping overboard the MSC Opera, however the search had now been stood down.
"The search for a man missing from a cruise ship heading into Southampton has now been stood down.
"Solent Coastguard received a call just before 6am today reporting the incident.
"The Coastguard search and rescue helicopters from Lee-on-Solent and Portland along with the Bembridge RNLI lifeboat and the Selsey RNLI lifeboat carried out a search off the Isle of Wight, south east of St Catherine’s.
"Vessels in the area were also asked to keep a lookout.
"Despite a thorough search, nothing was found. Rescue units have now been stood down."