Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Child drowns in cruise ship pool

A 10-year-old girl has drowned in a swimming pool aboard the Norwegian Gem ship en route to Florida and the Bahamas.

The US Coast Guard said the incident happened Sunday about 75 miles east of Myrtle Beach, S.C. and the ship immediately set a course for Port Canaveral, arriving about noon Monday.

Ship crew were quickly at the scene but the girl could not be saved, said Vanessa Picariello, spokeswoman for Norwegian Cruise line.

"We are extremely saddened to have learned that a guest passed away on Sunday aboard the Norwegian Gem," Picariello said in an emailed statement.

"On Sunday afternoon, the ship's medical team responded to an emergency call from the pool deck, as a 10-year-old female guest was reported unresponsive. The team quickly administered CPR and full emergency care. After extensive efforts, the guest could not be revived."

The Norwegian Gem was on a week-long cruise to Florida and the Bahamas having departed New York on Saturday.

Last year, two small children were pulled from a pool on Norwegian Breakaway on a sailing from New York to the Bahamas. The younger child, age 4, died on the ship but the other child, age 6, survived after medical attention.

According to cruise lawyer Jim Walker, all major cruise lines without lifeguards have seen children killed or seriously injured in ship swimming pools.

In March 2013 a four-year-old almost drowned aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship. The incident sparked a change of policy on Disney cruise ships and it remains the only major cruise line that deploys pool lifeguards.

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