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Search ends for crew member missing from Ambience ship

Image source, Gill Belbin

  • Author, Rachael McMenemy
  • Role, BBC News, Essex

A search for a crew member missing at sea from an around-the-world cruise has been called off.

The 120-night voyage set sail from Lisbon, Portugal, bound for Tilbury in Essex, at 15:25 local time (14:25 BST) on Thursday.

The member of staff, from India, was reported missing after breakfast when they “could not be located” at the start of their working day.

Ambassador Cruise Line said it was “committed to the safety and well-being of all our crew and guests.”

The ship had reversed its course to retrace the route back to where the crew member was last seen before being released by the coastguard, a spokesperson for Ambassador Cruise Line said

Ship-wide searches were also conducted.

The ship, called Ambience, was on the final leg of its around-the-world tour when the emergency was raised with the coastguard while the ship was sailing off the coast of Cape Finisterre Spain.

Ambience has started its return to the UK and is now expected to arrive at Tilbury on Sunday evening.

An Ambassador Cruise Line spokesperson said: “Our immediate priority is to provide full support to all crew members closely affected by this incident.

“Guests onboard have been kept informed throughout the day and have been advised of recent developments.

“Many have expressed their well-wishes, and we would like to thank them for their concern and support.”

Planned events to mark Ambience’s return have been cancelled.

“Ambassador remains committed to the safety and well-being of all our crew and guests.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of our colleague at this difficult time.

“Specialist support will be offered to all crew affected by today’s events,” the spokesperson added.

The ship was due to leave for British Isles Discovery cruise on Sunday night, but the cruise line said this would be impacted and customers will be contacted.

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