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Travel industry news

28 Dec 2018

BY Tom Parry

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Search called off for British Royal Caribbean entertainer

The search for a British Royal Caribbean cruise ship entertainer, believed to have fallen overboard in the early hours of Christmas Day, has been suspended.

Harmony of the Seas boardwalk

The US Coast Guard has halted its efforts to find Arron Hough after a two-day operation, describing the move as a “difficult decision”.

 

Hough went missing from Harmony of the Seas when the ship was 267 miles north-west of Puerto Rico.

 

The alarm was raised after the 20-year-old from Sunderland failed to report for work on Tuesday (December 25).

 

Royal Caribbean said the last CCTV footage of Hough showed him heading to the ship’s Deck 5 at around 04:00 local time.

 

When staff discovered he was missing later that day, the Coast Guard was alerted.

 

Harmony is currently sailing a seven-night voyage that left Fort Lauderdale on December 23, calling at St Maarten, San Juan, Puerto Rico and Haiti.

 

During the search, three aircraft and a ship covered more than 3,700 sq miles looking for Hough before the operation was called off.

 

Commander Christopher Douglas said: "We’ve been in contact with members of Mr Hough’s family throughout our search efforts and know this is a very difficult and painful time for them.”

 

"Suspending a search is one of the most difficult decisions we have to make as first responders, and it is never made lightly,” he told BBC News.

 

A Royal Caribbean spokesperson said: “We are saddened to report that after a review of the ship’s closed-circuit camera footage, he [Arron Hough] was observed entering an area on Deck 5 at around 4am and was not seen again.

 

"Local authorities were notified and a ship-wide search for the crew member was conducted.

"Our care team is providing support to the family and friends of our colleague, and our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time."

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