(7:37 pm) Reports surfacing across multiple cruise websites and social networks reporting the drowning of one young boy and a near drowning of another aboard the Norwegian Breakaway have been confirmed by Norwegian Cruise Line late Monday night.
Reports of the drowning events began to surface Monday afternoon on multiple cruise forums and social media networks. Reports allegedly came from passengers aboard the Norwegian Breakaway, who witnessed the events take place on the Lido Deck.
Norwegian Cruise Line released a public statement Monday evening, confirming the earlier reports:
“We are extremely saddened to report that a tragedy occurred on board Norwegian Breakaway this morning. Our emergency medical team was called and notified that two small children were rescued from the adult pool, but were unresponsive on the pool deck. The team responded immediately and quickly administered CPR to both children. The older child was then airlifted by the U.S. Coastguard to the closest medical facility, accompanied by his grandmother and a nurse from the ship. Devastatingly, after many resuscitation attempts, the younger child passed away on board. We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this extremely difficult time and are providing full assistance and support. The family is in our thoughts and prayers and we ask that you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well.”
A report from WITN reports the ages of the children to be four and six. An ABC affiliate in Tennessee is reporting the six your old boy to be in stable condition at a local hospital.
Cruise Currents has reached out to Norwegian Cruise Line for further information on the tragic incident and policy information in regards to onboard lifeguards. Cruise Currents will continue to update this article as new information is learned.
The prayers of the Cruise Currents team are with the family at this very difficult time as well as the Norwegian crew members who were involved in this tragic incident.
Lifeguards At Sea & Public Opinion
While this particular incident occurred in the adult’s only pool, the incident may highlight a need for trained lifeguards on the Lido deck to deal with similar medical situations.
Drownings aboard cruise ships are extremely rare, but typically bring much attention and scrutiny to the lifeguard policies of the cruise industry. As of today, Disney Cruise Line is the only cruise line to employ full time lifeguards for the fleet’s children’s pools.
Last year, following the drowning of a 6 year old aboard the Carnival Victory, Cruise Currents readers voted in an opinion poll on the proposal of hiring lifeguards for cruise ships. 75.54% of those surveyed opposed the idea of cruise lines hiring lifeguards for Lido pools. The remaining 24.46% supported the idea of hiring lifeguards.
Following this new incident, cruise lines could potentially face a new and stronger wave of criticism to their lifeguard policies.