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Coastguards halt search for man who jumped from ship

A search for a missing man facing deportation who jumped from a ship was stood down, coastguards said.

Two men aged 37 and 38 from the Dominican Republic jumped from a refrigerated cargo vessel at 6.10pm yesterday in Portsmouth commercial port area.

One man was rescued from the water and detained by the UK Border Agency, but the other is still missing despite an extensive search.

The UK Border Agency confirmed that the men had stowed away on the ship and were first detained when it docked on Sunday.

They were denied entry into the country and were returned to the ship to be deported back to the Dominican Republic.

"Two nationals from the Dominican Republic were refused entry to the UK (on Sunday) after they were discovered stowed away on a ship and without appropriate documentation," a spokeswoman said.

"One of the stowaways has been rescued and we are currently speaking to him about his status in the UK," she added.

The coastguard helicopter from Lee-on-Solent in Hampshire was used to try and find the missing man, along with coastguard rescue teams and a MoD Police launch, until the operation was called off last night due to failing light.

A spokeswoman from Solent Coastguard said a decision would be made this morning whether to continue the search.

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch was informed of the incident.

The ship the men jumped from is the Timor Stream, operated by Geest, which mainly carries fruit from the Caribbean.

A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said a male believed to be the missing man was located at around 5am on the nearby M275 and was taken by officers to a local police station.