Rescue teams called off a search for a cruise passenger who was reported to have fallen overboard from P&O Ventura ship off Isle of Wight. The man is believed to have fallen from the cruise vessel at about 04:30 BST as Ventura was returning from the Mediterranean to Southampton.
An air and sea search by the RNLI, coastguard and other vessels was carried out for almost 12 hours. The P&O cruise ship retraced its route for several hours to aid the search. Vessels in the area are being asked to maintain a look out for the missing man, the coastguard said.
Ventura, which left Southampton on 27 September, was due to return to the city at 07:00 BST but delayed its arrival to 12:30 BST following the search. Passengers on board posted on ship's Facebook page.
"Atmosphere is sombre as you can imagine and my thoughts go out to the passenger's family. So so sad," Kieron Baker said on the page.
Helen Snape said: "The coastguard along with the RNLI have been searching relentlessly since the early hours. Thoughts go out to the gentleman's family."
The cruise ship, which can carry up to 3,600 passengers and 1,200 crew, was expected to leave Southampton for Zeebrugge at 19:45 BST as scheduled.