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1 child dies, 1 hospitalized after incident on cruise ship

By Emery P. Dalesio

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 12:23 p.m. HST, Feb 04, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. >> One young boy died and a second was revived and taken to a North Carolina hospital after they were pulled from a cruise ship swimming pool off the state's coast Monday, officials confirmed, though they offered few additional details today.

It was unclear whether the boy who died, age 4, and the 6-year-old who was flown to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern with his grandmother and a nurse from the Norwegian Cruise Line ship were related. 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 said on its Facebook page that the Norwegian Breakaway's emergency medical team responded to a report that the children were unresponsive on the ship's 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."

Norwegian Breakaway, an 18-deck ship with a capacity of 4,000 passengers, is one of Norwegian'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 which pool the children were found near. 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 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. The port's police chief did not return a call Tuesday and a woman answering the phone at the department said questions were being referred to Norwegian.

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."

Last October, a 6-year-old boy drowned in one of the pools aboard a Carnival Cruise Lines ship while at sea. The child was at the mid-ship pool area of the Carnival Victory with other family members on the last leg of a four-day Caribbean cruise, the company said at the time.

The Miami-Dade Police Department investigated the drowning and identified the boy as Qwentyn Hunter of Winter Garden, Fla. The drowning appeared to be accidental and foul play was not suspected, police said.

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serious wrote:
These cruise lines have sure had their problems. Ever cruise? Ever seen a crew person who spoke English? Me neither. The service crew members are all foreign and work at slave labor salaries. That's what keeps the cruise prices down. Now it they had the Jones Act on them the prices would be 2.7 times higher. That's what our legislators like for Hawaii--they gave the cruise ships an exemption but not for the taxpayers here!! Look it up!! Go Matson, Horizon and Young!!!
on February 4,2014 | 10:26AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
No,cruise ships don't have an exemption, they can hire foreign because they make a landing in a foreign port.
on February 4,2014 | 12:04PM
BigOpu wrote:
"Children were not supposed to be in then pool unattended"....but they were. Sure, parents have most of the blame and responsibility, but that statement doesn't let the ship off the hook. It's a foreseeable hazard, and they have no lifeguards to make sure it does not happen. Once on board, the ship has responsibility to make sure guests are safe. To a much larger degree, kids.
on February 4,2014 | 10:28AM
nitpikker wrote:
not saying the cruise lines are blameless but like hotels, resorts, municipal pools etc. if you see posted signs warning "'no lifeguard on duty", then i would think responsibility falls on the user. and as a parent would you let your young child use a pool alone...with or without a lifeguard?
on February 4,2014 | 11:28AM
NanakuliBoss wrote:
Every been on a cruise and the parents are at the bar with the kids creating havoc unsupervised? Some parents think someone else will watch their kids.
on February 4,2014 | 11:54AM
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