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Boy, 4, drowns on cruise bound for Florida

GREENVILLE, 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 Tuesday.

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 Lines ship were related. Hospital spokeswoman Chris Mackey said Tuesday that the boy's parents did not want the boy's condition shared with the public.

Several spokespeople for Norwegian did not return messages Tuesday. The line 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 the ship 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 homeports year-round from 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.

The 4,000-passenger 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 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."

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. The drowning appeared to be accidental and foul play was not suspected, police said.

Boy, 4, drowns on cruise bound for Florida 02/04/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 4, 2014 1:55pm]
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