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Search suspended for man missing overboard Wellington ferry

The search has been called off for a man who fell overboard from an East by West ferry in Wellington Harbor this morning.

The ferry was traveling towards Days Bay, Eastbourne from Queens Wharf and departed shortly after 6am

In a statement, a police spokesperson told 1News that police are “urgently seeking information to help identify this person.”

The man is described as being in his 40s, with light skin, around 180cm tall and with darker hair.

The passenger was reported to have been sailing at 6am from Queens Wharf to Days Bay on Friday.

East by West Ferries general manager Mat Jonsson told 1News that the ferry crew issued a distress call and began searching when they realized the passenger was missing upon arrival in Days Bay.

“We called a second ferry from the port to assist with the search, which was joined by other boats that responded to the rescue.”

The ferry operator was assisting in the search from the water and shore.

“All of our available resources are involved.”

Up to 14 boats and a rescue helicopter participated in the search at its peak.

The commuter ferry traveled from Queens Wharf in the city to Days Bay in Eastbourne.

“Unfortunately, the man has not been located and the active search has been temporarily suspended pending a review,” Detective Sergeant Rachael Boyd said in an update this afternoon.

“If you have just arrived home and have a family member or friend matching this description who has not returned home as expected, please contact police.”

Conditions at the port this morning were very calm, Jonsson said, and the ferry was virtually safe for the safety of passengers.

“The main cabin of the boat involved is completely enclosed and the upper deck has barriers around the passenger area to prevent anyone from accidentally falling overboard.”

Days Bay Pier, Wellington.

Services would not resume today.

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