Boy in critical condition after near-drowning on cruise ship

Photo from Royal Caribbean via Twitter

A Caribbean-bound cruise ship that departed New Jersey on Thursday returned to shore after a boy nearly drowned in one of the boat’s pools, officials said.

The 8-year-old boy had “an accident” in one of the ship’s pools, Royal Caribbean Cruises tweeted at about 10 p.m.

Law enforcement officials said the Anthem of the Seas cruise ship departed from Bayonne, New Jersey, at 4:30 p.m. and was returning at 9:30 p.m. because of the medical emergency.

The Coast Guard retrieved the child from the ship by Medivac helicopter and was taken to Staten Island University Hospital. His family was expected to meet him there. The ship was docked in Bayonne early Friday morning.

The boy was in critical condition Friday, according to the Coast Guard, The Associated Press reported. The Coast Guard said the boy had been in the water for eight to 10 minutes before cruise officials found him. Police described the boy as a drowning or near-drowning victim.

Royal Caribbean said on Twitter that the boy was being treated at the hospital and that the cruise line’s care team is providing support to his family.

This isn’t the first time Anthem of the Seas made headlines this year: it sailed into a storm in the Atlantic Ocean in February, tossing passengers and furniture around the vessel. Passengers described it as “a cruise from hell.”

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