HALIFAX -- A 31-year-old man is recovering after he fell overboard while riding a Halifax Transit ferry late Wednesday afternoon.

The Vincent Coleman ferry was travelling from Halifax to the Alderney Landing ferry terminal, and was about halfway across the harbour, when the man fell over a railing.

Halifax Regional Police say they received several 911 calls around 5:30 p.m. about a passenger that had fallen into the water.

Ferry operators stopped the vessel immediately so they could make a rescue attempt.

“I heard him say a man's overboard, so he alerted the whole crew, and then they sprang into action,” recalls passenger Cavell Hudson.

“The ferry stopped, and started turning around, so several of us ran to the window to look to see if we could see where the person might be to help, you know, point out like, he's on this side, that side.”

The ferry engineer jumped into the water to rescue the passenger. Meanwhile, crew members used a life net to pull him out of the water and back onto the ferry.

The passenger was in the water for about five minutes.

“Halifax Transit, I have to give them a shoutout,” says Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency District Chief Kevin Dean. “One of their members jumped in and helped rescue the gentleman, so good for him.”

The man wasn’t seriously injured, but was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Police say they are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, but they believe alcohol may have been a factor.