POLICE investigating what caused a vehicle to plunge off cliffs have revealed they believe it could be connected to the disappearance of a 20-year-old man.

Emergency services have still not yet been able to discover if anyone is in the vehicle, which went over Culver Cliffs on the Isle of Wight this morning, because of difficult sea and weather conditions.

But police have said reports of the cliff fall came a short time after they were alerted about a missing Island man, who had left his home in Newport.

Officers were called shortly before 3am by a member of the public who was concerned for the welfare of the 20-year-old, who it is believed had driven off in a van.

The man is still missing this morning, and police said officers are in contact with his family.

A Hampshire police marine unit vessel is on its way to the coast off Culver, between Sandown and Bembridge, to assess the state of the vehicle, confirm its identity, and discover whether anyone is inside.

But the incoming tide and bad weather are hampering any attempts to recover the vehicle.

A force spokesman said there is no evidence to suggest suspicious circumstances or a crime having taken place, and said the vehicle had not been reported stolen and was not being pursued by police.

Last year two people died when their car crashed over the same 340 foot cliff.

Paul Charles, 53, and Jacqueline Charles, 48, were killed when the blue Renault Scenic they were in drove off the cliffs and crashed on to the beach.

An inquest heard the couple could not live without each other.