Hunt for missing cruise passenger

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A search and rescue operation was launched yesterday after a man went missing from a pleasure cruiser on Ullswater in the Lake District.

Coastguards were alerted after passengers on The Lady of the Lake saw the man go overboard at Sharrow Bay at 10.15am. Rescue crews from Ullswater Outbound Centre and nearby Howtown were sent to the scene, and a rescue helicopter was scrambled. Cumbria Police said diving teams were also looking for the man, and a search was taking place along the lakeside.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency said passengers saw the man fall overboard but quickly lost sight of him in the confusion. He was 6ft tall and wearing a grey top and dark brown trousers but no lifejacket.

The Lady of the Lake, operated by Ullswater Steamers, was initially held at the spot but later allowed to return to dock, where passengers were questioned by police.

Ullswater is the second-largest lake in the Lake District and is up to 60m (197ft) deep in places. It is a popular sailing location with marinas all around it. Donald Campbell's Bluebird set the world water speed record on Ullswater in 1955.