Search resumes for baby reported missing in Belfast Lough

Search resumes for baby reported missing in Belfast Lough

A search operation has resumed for a baby who is reportedly missing in Belfast Lough.

A woman, believed to be the child's mother, was seen falling overboard a Stena Line Ferry yesterday evening as the vessel made its way into Belfast port from Cairnryan on Scotland’s western coast last night.

The woman was rescued shortly after 6pm, about 15 minutes after the alarm was raised and taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

The baby, who is believed to be about nine days old, is still apparently missing. Eyewitnesses said the child was with the woman when she plunged from the boat.

The woman was treated for hypothermia in hospital. She is in a stable condition.

The sea search for the infant restarted this morning in poor weather conditions. Searches continued late into last night. The PSNI and Coastguard also carried out shore searches.

All Stena Line sailings to and from Belfast were cancelled last night and Belfast Port was closed. It remains closed this morning and today's sailings have been cancelled.

The incident happen in the Lough close to Holywood, Co Down on a busy shipping route for passengers and freight between the North and Scotland.

John McPoland, a spokesman for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, said two ambulance crews treated the woman.

“She had been in the water for a while so you can understand that with the coldness of the water she would have been hypothermic,” he said.

Agencies, including the police helicopter, the Irish Coastguard and the RNLI have been involved in the search for the baby.

PSNI officers boarded the ferry, which is docked in Belfast Port.


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