Woman arrested as sea search for baby in Belfast Lough called off

A woman has been arrested on suspicion of wasting police time after a major search for a baby feared lost at sea was called off.

The land and sea operation in Belfast Lough was cancelled when police said initial reports that an infant had fallen from a ferry were incorrect.

The search got under way after the woman plunged from the Stena Line vessel as it made its way into port from Cairnryan in Scotland on Wednesday night.

The 37-year-old, from Belfast, who was rescued within 15 minutes and taken to the city’s Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment, has now been taken into custody for questioning.

The incident happened in the lough, close to Holywood, Co Down, at about 6.10pm on a busy shipping route for passengers and freight between the North and Scotland.

Agencies, including the police helicopter, the Irish Coast Guard, and the RNLI were involved in the search operation which continued long into the night and resumed early yesterday.

At the time of the incident it was reported that a baby had also entered the water with the woman, prompting extensive searches that began on Wednesday night.

Police carried out a complex investigation, including interviews with the woman’s family.


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