Crew member missing at sea during round-the-world cruise

A crew member on a 120-day voyage around the world is missing at sea.

Ambassador Cruise Line's Ambience ship was making its final journey from Lisbon, Portugal back to the UK when the crew member was reported missing.

In a statement to Sky News, the British cruise line said Ambience had initially turned back to "retrace her route to the ship's position when the crew member was last seen".

However, it has since been "released by coastguard authorities from the search" and is "continuing on her original course back to the UK".

According to the statement, the crew member, who was from India, was reported missing "shortly after breakfast" this morning while the ship was off Cape Finisterre, on the west coast of Spain.

It said thorough ship-wide searches were conducted for the person, who has not been named, and the local coastguard was informed.

Ambience had departed from Tilbury, Essex on 6 January and is due to return to the port on Sunday.

Ambassador has confirmed its arrival time, initially planned for 9am, will be delayed until the evening.

All events to mark its return have also been cancelled.

"Our immediate priority is to provide full support to all crew members closely affected by this incident," Ambassador said.

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

"Ambassador remains committed to the safety and wellbeing 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."

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British cruise line Ambassador has its headquarters in Purfleet, Essex, and its home port is the nearby Tilbury.

The 800ft-long Ambience is its flagship boat and can carry 1,400 guests in its 789 cabins.

Stops on its 120-day Grand Round The World Cruise voyage have included New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa and Brazil.