December 26, 2018 / 9:34 PM / 21 days ago

U.S. Coast Guard searches for cruise ship crew member who went overboard

Dec 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard said on Wednesday it was searching for a British crew member who went overboard from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in the Atlantic Ocean.

Arron Hough, 20, went overboard 267 miles off the northwest of Puerto Rico on Tuesday, a spokesman for the Coast Guard 7th District told Reuters in a telephone interview. Hough was a cast member of the musical "Grease" which was being performed onboard the ship, according to the Miami Herald.

At the time the Coast Guard became aware of the incident, the Harmony of the Seas ship was traveling from its home port of Fort Lauderdale to its first stop of St. Maarten island on its seven-day Caribbean itinerary, the Miami Herald had reported hrld.us/2QTSl9S earlier.

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

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd did not respond to a request for comment. Media reports cited a statement from the company saying Hough 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 bit.ly/2QOhRNH Sky News.

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

The UK Foreign Office said it was providing assistance to the family of the missing person, Sky News reported. (Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by David Gregorio)

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