A major operation co-ordinated by Aberdeen Coastguard was called off at 8pm with no sign of the 22-year-old man who went missing from the Shetland to Aberdeen overnight ferry shortly before 6.30am yesterday.
There were 25 vessels, including three RNLI lifeboat teams, and two helicopters involved in the search, according to the coastguard.
The man was last seen on NorthLink’s MV Hjaltland at 4am on Monday, which led to an extensive search of an area off the north-east coast of Scotland.
The RAF helicopter, Rescue 137, from Lossiemouth and the Coastguard helicopter, Rescue 102, from Shetland joined the search along with RNLI crews from Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen, as well as 22 merchant boats, the coastguard said.
The Peterhead RNLI lifeboat reached its berth at Peterhead Harbour at 9.40pm. Coxswain Andy Brown said: “Good team work and co-operation from every vessel made the task of co-ordinating the search much easier.”
The ferry, carrying 160 passengers, was getting close to Aberdeen when it raised the alarm.
It retraced its route to help with the search but later docked at Aberdeen.
The search focused on a long, thin stretch of water on the ferry route from just north of Aberdeen up to Rattray Head, between Peterhead and Fraserburgh.
Police were informed of the incident at 6.45am. Officers in Aberdeen have been speaking to other people who were on the ferry to gather information.