US Coast Guard suspends search for missing British cruise ship entertainer

The US Coast Guard has suspended the search for a missing British cruise ship entertainer who fell overboard.

Rescuers said in a statement they had stopped looking for Arron Hough at about 2:30pm on Thursday.

It comes two days after the 20-year-old from Sunderland fell from the vessel 267 miles from Aguadilla in Puerto Rico.

Crews searched for around 83 hours and covered more than 3,700 square miles.

Commander Christopher Douglas, chief executive of the coast guard’s San Juan sector, 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.”

The Royal Caribbean ship left Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on Sunday and is heading to Philipsburg, St Maarten.

The last CCTV footage available of Mr Hough showed him heading on to the ship’s deck at around 4am, according to a statement issued by the cruise ship company.

However, staff on board the vessel only realised he was missing when he did not report to work later that day.

The United States Coast Guard was alerted to Mr Hough’s disappearance at 1.45pm.

Royal Caribbean and the coast guard were unable to confirm how far the ship had travelled during that time.

Talent agency Russell Smith Associates said in July that Mr Hough would be joining the cast of Grease The Musical on the vessel.

The agency said he was a new graduate of the Urdang Academy, a dance and musical theatre college in London.

The college tweeted that they were praying for Mr Hough and his family on Wednesday night.

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