Major search launched after reports of 'woman falling' from ferry

Cal Mac ferry: could run a Harris service on a Sunday
Caledonian MacBrayne: The woman reportedly fell from the ferry from Stornoway.© STV

A major search for a woman feared to have fallen overboard from the Stornoway ferry has been stood down after the missing person turned up in Inverness.

The maritime emergency services activated a large scale search for the woman, said to be in her mid 50s, who was last seen around 4.20pm on Sunday’s crossing from Lewis to Ullapool.

Her bike was left behind when all passengers disembarked at Ullapool at 5.15pm sparking off the search. Police officers attended at Ullapool pier and the maritime emergency services were called out before 7pm after it emerged there was no sign of the woman and no explanation for her leaving her bike behind.

The lifeboats headed at full speed to the scene and Stornoway Coastguard rescue helicopter focused a search near where she was last seen onboard the Caledonian MacBrayne-operated MV Isle of Lewis ferry.

The delayed ferry left Ullapool with passengers and rendezvoused with the helicopter near Priest Island, to the south of the Summer Isles on the track the ferry takes between the open water of the Minch and the mouth of Loch Broom.

Nearby vessels headed to the mouth of Loch Broom responded to a relay radio request to assist including the Scottish Government’s fisheries protection agency patrol vessel, FPV Jura, which was about 25 miles north of the incident.

The search was halted when the woman was discovered by police in Inverness around 8.30pm. She had booked into a youth hostel in the Highland capital.

A spokesman for Stornoway Coastguard said: "The missing woman has been found safe and well. All emergency services have been stood down."