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Police in Ibiza are searching for the missing head of a man after he was decapitated by a ferry which ran over his small inflatable boat.

The victim's body was found last night but rescue crews and divers are today looking for his head in what they say will be a "very difficult task".

The Civil Guard has opened an investigation to determine what happened but the first theory is that the seven metre inflatable boat strayed into the path of the fast ferry and the huge ship ran over it.

There are reports that the small boat had no lights.

A second person on the inflatable managed to dive into the water just before the impact.

It is understood he suffered some injuries and a severe anxiety attack and was rushed to hospital.

No details have been given about the identity of the dead man but it is believed he was aged 46 and of Spanish nationality, living in Valencia.

The horrific accident happened at the entrance to the port of Ibiza late on Tuesday night.

Maritime rescue said they received two calls at around 11.45pm yesterday from the fast ferry Formentera Direct about a collision.

Diario de Ibiza says one of the maydays came from the fast ferry whilst the other was from a witness who heard a loud crash and screams.

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The rescue service alerted two of their boats but it is understood the crew of the fast ferry located the injured person with their own rescue boat.

Shortly afterwards, maritime rescue recovered the body of the other occupant whose head had been severed.

Divers with the Special Group for Underwater Activities have travelled to the area this morning.

They are searching for the remains of the small boat, which was completely destroyed, and the dead man's head.

They say it is going to be a difficult task because of the location and sea conditions.

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The rescue authorities have put out an urgent alert urging all sailors to comply with the regulations to prevent collisions on the high seas.

They stressed that certain vessels must be avoided in maritime channels such as the port of Ibiza.

The fast ferry had 132 passengers and 10 crew members on board and was returning from the Balearic island of Formentera. No-one was injured.

The islands' press says the captain and ferry company have mourned the death and conveyed their condolences to the family. In addition, they are collaborating with the authorities and insurance companies in the investigation to clarify the causes of the accident.

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