Woman held over 'baby' ferry drama

Published Thursday, 10 May 2012
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A 37-year-old woman has been arrested by police investigating the circumstances surrounding a major search operation at Belfast Lough, which was sparked by false reports a baby had fallen into the water.

Woman held over 'baby' ferry drama
A search operation is back underway in Belfast Lough. (© Pacemaker)

Searches were called off on Thursday afternoon, after extensive efforts by numerous rescue agencies.

Police said they no longer believed that a baby had been in the care of the woman who fell overboard from a passenger ferry.

The Belfast woman was rescued 15 minutes after the alarm was raised on board the Stena Line ferry from Cairnryan, which was making its way to Belfast Port shortly after 6pm on Wednesday.

She was treated in hospital, where her condition was said to be stable, and later released.

On Thursday, a police spokesman said: "Police now understand the report of a baby going into the water was incorrect.

"Police do not believe there was a baby in the woman's care on the ferry - enquiries are continuing."

The woman is being held for questioning in a Belfast police station on suspicion of wasting police time.

In a statement, Stena Line said it would continue to assist with PSNI with investigations into the incident.

"The company is also in the process of carrying out its own investigation as to the circumstances of the incident and will share this information with all relevant authorities," a spokesperson said.

A number of search and rescue agencies from both sides of the border were involved in the massive air and sea operation, which led to ferry services being cancelled and Belfast Port being closed for a time on Wednesday.

© UTV News
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31 Comments
John in Larne wrote (953 days ago):
Thanks to all the shoreline walkers and Major praise to the Coast Guard from the south. Your all Heroes.
gloria in lisburn wrote (953 days ago):
just thank god this lady is ok no one was harmed ,since when did we put a cost on a life? and in every home there is one family member that has been touched by depression mental health anxiety in some way .if this was by design or by accident is it up to us to judge anyone? and if u wanna look at wasted money just look at the gov and the money mis spent @stormont. i pray this girl recovers and is allowed to put this in the past,
Nicola in county antrim wrote (954 days ago):
This woman needs special help. She should be arrested for wasting police,coast guard and other services time! Why say she had an infant in her arms when she fell? It cost OUR monies for the search and police time. I'm glad no baby was involved,and I do believe,no matter what people think or say,she should be persecuted for this horrible situation she brought on herself which had the majority of the country in distress at this false claim!
Andy C in Belfast wrote (954 days ago):
@ Giggster in Ards and Caroline in Fermanagh , Whilst we are all glad that no baby did go into the water , Surely at time of alarm there could of been the possibility that the baby belonged to someone else on board and not part of the womans travelling party or on the booking of the woman that went into the water .
Lyndsey in Belfast wrote (954 days ago):
After the Country being in shock that a mother had lost her new born by falling of a stena we have to question! How much did this cost the public? I personally think too many people say "oh she must have issues" Ok she maybe does, but so do we all.. but we dont run up bills for the public to pay so we can get told we have issues!!! people just dont say things like that. And by the way i tavelled on stena only last month you just dont fall off the boat?
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