US Coast Guard searches for cruise ship crew member who went overboard

The Harmony of the Seas ship was travelling from its home port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to its first stop of St. Maarten island on its seven-day Caribbean itinerary.
The Harmony of the Seas ship was travelling from its home port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to its first stop of St. Maarten island on its seven-day Caribbean itinerary.SCREENSHOT: YOUTUBE

MIAMI (REUTERS) - The United States Coast Guard said on Wednesday (Dec 26) that it was searching for a British crew member who went overboard from a Royal Caribbean Cruises cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Mr Arron Hough, 20, went overboard 430km off the north-west of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Coast Guard 7th District told Reuters in a telephone interview.

At the time the Coast Guard became aware of the incident, the Harmony of the Seas ship was travelling from its home port of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to its first stop of St Maarten island on its seven-day Caribbean itinerary, the Miami Herald newspaper reported earlier.

The Coast Guard said it continued its search for Mr Hough with an aeroplane and cutter ship.

Royal Caribbean Cruises said the missing person was a member of the "entertainment team" on board Harmony of the Seas and that he did not show up for work on Tuesday.

"We are saddened to report that after a review of the ship's closed-circuit camera footage, he was observed entering an area on Deck 5 at around 4am and was not seen again," Royal Caribbean told Reuters in an e-mailed statement.

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

The British Foreign Office said it was providing assistance to the family of the missing person, according to a statement cited by Sky News.