A teenager found in the water off Falmouth is believed to have stowed away onboard a ship to smuggle himself into the country.

At around 4pm yesterday the man was pulled from the sea in Falmouth Bay and taken into Falmouth Docks,having apparently jumped from a ship.

Police oficers were called and they arrested the man on suspicion of immigration offences, on behalf of the UK Border Agency. He was then taken to Truro's Royal Cornwall Hospital, where he is being assessed for possible dehydration and malnutrition.

Police are continuing their investigation into what has happened, including a search of the vessel involved to determine whether any there are any other stowaways.

A police spokesman said: "The arrested male is believed to be a Cameroon national, aged 17 years. If he is subsequently found to be younger, he will be placed into the care of social services initially, otherwise, the UK Border Agency will assume responsibility."

There is still a question mark over whether a second person jumped from the ship, after the 17-year-old claimed his friend who had been with him was missing.

Falmouth coastguards launched a search involving the town's all-weather and inshore lifeboat, as well as a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose, but they were stood down at around 8.20pm yesterday.