It is believed the crew member may have gone overboard from the Isle of Inishmore ferry, which runs between Rosslare in the Republic of Ireland to Pembroke Dock in Wales.

A major search for a missing crewman from the Isle of Inishmore ferry has been called off by the coastguard.

A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said the matter is now being handled by the police.

The man is believed to have gone overboard off the Pembrokeshire Coast in south Wales. He was last seen on 26 May, around 45 minutes before the ferry docked at Pembroke Dock.

The alarm was raised several hours later when the Irish Ferries vessel was making its return journey to Rosslare in southern Ireland. Staff realised the man was not at his post and after a search of the vessel, contacted the coastguard.

The coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at St Athan, along with lifeboats from Angle and St David’s searched an area off St Anne’s Head.

The search was suspended at 10pm.

In a statement released on 26 May, the MCA said: “HM Coastguard has been co-ordinating the search for a missing crew-member who it is believed may have gone overboard from a ferry off the Pembroke coast.”

It continued: “The Coastguard search and rescue helicopter based at St Athan searched the area for the missing man on Thursday, along with lifeboats from Angle and St David’s. The search was suspended at 10pm as darkness fell and continues to be suspended pending any further information.”