Thousands raised for family of Sunderland entertainer Arron Hough after his cruise ship disappearance
More than Â£4,500 has been raised for the family of Sunderland entertainer Arron Hough after it was feared he went overboard from the luxury cruise liner he was working on.
The 20-year-old was reported missing after he failed to show for his shift on board the Harmony Of The Seas, which is sailing in the Caribbean.
Former Sandhill View Academy student Arron was appearing in a production of Grease The Musical being staged as part of the ship's entertainment programme.
The search launched to try and find him after he reportedly fell over board was brought to a halt after a total of 83 hours.
The Royal Carribean ship won the title of largest cruise ship in the world in 2016 and can carry 6,780 guests and 2,100 crew.
Family friend Andrea Squires has now set up a GoFundMe page to gather funds to support Arron's family, with Â£4,500 raised towards the Â£5,000 total within just hours of it being set up.
She posted: "As a lot of people will have seen in the news, Arron Hough, a part of the entertainment team on the Harmony Of The Seas cruise ship has been missing since Christmas Day.
"I’ve had the pleasure of calling Arron’s Mam my friend for a number of years, and have known Arron since he was 10.
"I wanted to do something to help the family in any way possible, and knowing how difficult the coming days, weeks and months will be for them, I don’t want them to have to worry about money.
"It will ultimately be down to the family what to do with any funds raised, but I just want to ease a very heavy burden somewhat.
"Thank you for taking the time to read this story, and thank you if you are in a position to donate."
Arron was 15 when he won the Genfactor talent show.
He said at the time: “I am so excited and happy.
“I didn’t expect to win and feel really overwhelmed.
“It was a great experience and I really enjoyed performing.”Read more: Missing Sunderland cruise ship entertainer Arron Hough's rise as professional dancer started with Genfactor talent show win