A search is under way off Fair Isle after a report of a man overboard from the ferry Hrossey in the early hours of this morning.
The Serco NorthLink boat was heading from Kirkwall to Lerwick when the captain was notified of the incident at around 4am.
The Hrossey was immediately turned around and headed back to begin looking for the man. A coastguard helicopter and the Lerwick lifeboat were also involved in the search.
The Hrossey left Aberdeen at 5pm yesterday, bound for Orkney and Shetland. She departed Kirkwall at 12.25am and was originally due in Lerwick at 7.30am today.
When the ferry left Orkney there were 172 passengers aboard including 21 children.
A NorthLink spokesman said they were liaising with the relevant authorities regarding the incident, including the police.
NorthLink said later that the Hrossey was expected to arrive in Lerwick at noon. The normal Friday departure of 5.30pm may possibly be delayed.