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Raleigh, NC - 1 Child Dies, 1 Hospitalized After Drowning In Cruise Ship Swimming Pool

Published on: February 4, 2014 05:52 PM
By: AP
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FILE - In this May 8, 2013, file photo, people pause to look at Norwegian Cruise Line's new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, on the Hudson River, in New York. A 4-year-old child died after being pulled unresponsive from a swimming pool on the Norwegian Breakaway, off the coast of North Carolina on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, cruise line and Coast Guard officials said. Crew members were able to revive a 6-year-old boy also found in the pool. He was airlifted to a hospital, where his condition was unknown. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)FILE - In this May 8, 2013, file photo, people pause to look at Norwegian Cruise Line's new ship, Norwegian Breakaway, on the Hudson River, in New York. A 4-year-old child died after being pulled unresponsive from a swimming pool on the Norwegian Breakaway, off the coast of North Carolina on Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, cruise line and Coast Guard officials said. Crew members were able to revive a 6-year-old boy also found in the pool. He was airlifted to a hospital, where his condition was unknown. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Raleigh, NC - A 4-year-old boy died and a 6-year-old boy was revived and taken to a North Carolina hospital after both were pulled from a cruise ship swimming pool off the state’s coast Monday, according to officials who offered few additional details Tuesday.

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Norwegian said on its Facebook page that the ship’s emergency medical team responded to a report that the children were unresponsive on its pool deck and quickly administered CPR.

“After extensive efforts, the younger child could not be revived,” the Facebook post said. “We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this extremely difficult time and are providing full assistance and support.”

It was unclear whether the boys were related. The survivor was flown to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern with his grandmother and a nurse from the Norwegian Breakaway. The boy was later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Hospital spokeswoman Chris Mackey said Tuesday that the boy’s parents did not want the boy’s condition shared with the public.

Norwegian Breakaway, an 18-deck ship with a capacity of 4,000 passengers, is one of the cruise line’s newest ships and has a New York City theme with a colorful mural on the exterior hull designed by pop artist Peter Max featuring images of the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty. The vessel’s year-round home port is Manhattan.

It has several pool areas, including an aqua park with a play area for young children. There’s also a supervised program for children ages 3 to 17 called Splash Academy.

Norwegian Cruise Line spokeswoman AnneMarie Mathews declined to specify at which pool the children were found. She also declined to say whether the children signed into care at Splash Academy or were supervised by their family.

Except for Disney Cruise Line, pools aboard cruise ships usually are not watched by lifeguards and swimming is at the patron’s own risk, though Norwegian ships have specific pools for children, said Andrew Coggins, a management professor at Pace University in New York City who studies the cruise industry.

“In any event, children are not supposed to be in the pool unattended,” Coggins wrote in an email.

The death must be reported to the Coast Guard and the state where the vessel is registered, said Carol Finklehoffe, a Miami personal injury lawyer who represents cruise ship passengers and crew members. The family’s legal rights are based in a provision of maritime law that limits damages resulting from an accidental death on the high seas primarily to the money the victim could earn, Finklehoffe said. For a 4-year-old, that’s virtually nil, she said.If the 6-year-old survives, that child can seek compensation for pain and suffering, she said.

The ship is based in New York and was headed to Florida on an itinerary that then had it headed to the Bahamas, according to Norwegian’s website. The ship was docked in Port Canaveral, Fla., Tuesday morning, port spokeswoman Rosalind Harvey confirmed.

When the ship launched in the spring of 2013, it was praised by industry experts such as Cruise Week editor Mike Driscoll, who called it “the best ship in the company’s 47-year history.”

“There have been multiple drownings on cruise ships in the recent past,” said Finklehoff, who believes cruise ships should assign lifeguards to their pools. “They know that the pool deck is a very distracting area. They’re selling drinks, there’s activities going on, and people can be distracted. That includes parents watching children.”


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1

 Feb 05, 2014 at 11:43 AM Cruise Passenger Says:

I really feel very badly, for this preventable loss of life. There was a similar drowning of a young child only a few months ago on a Carnival Cruise ship. Unfortunately, outside of Disney Lines, the cruise companies don't have any lifeguards assigned to their swimming pools. I was just on a Holland-America cruise, and basically, one uses the swimming pool, at their own risk. However, it doesn't excuse the parents/grandparents, from not exercising closer supervision over their children, especially in the swimming pool. Young children, especially have to be closely watched, at all times. I saw a despicable incident on the cruise ship that I was on, when I witnessed some brainless young Mother holding her young child near the top of the railing for a better look at the ocean; another brainless young Mother got off the elevator in a hurry, while she left her young child behind. The child was standing in the area, between the elevator door and the landing!

2

 Feb 05, 2014 at 03:25 PM have been on cruises Says:

Nothing surprises me comment 1

3

 Feb 05, 2014 at 09:10 PM fly-on-wall Says:

My heart goes out to the family.People sometimes are not very careful keeping watch over kids.We should daven the other boy pulls through.What a senseless
tragedy.

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