A boy who nearly drowned while aboard a cruise ship survived two days before dying in a New York City hospital, it was revealed Monday.
The 8-year-old boy, identified by SILive as Prince Adepoju of Maryland, was found in one of the swimming pools aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Sea on June 30. According to a statement from Staten Island University, he died July 2.
"We are heartbroken to learn the news," Royal Caribbean said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this terribly sad time."
The ship’s medical team initially performed CPR on the child, but the boy required additional medical attention, and the ship altered its course back toward Bayonne, New Jersey.
Passengers were first alerted to the incident at about 5:45 p.m. as a code alpha — a medical emergency — was announced over the ship’s intercom, passenger Mike Ritchie told InsideEdition.com.
“It was repeated a few times. We've heard this before on other cruise ships, and it's often not anything big,” he said. “About 45 minutes later we learned that it was pretty serious. There were no announcements at that point, but there were some word-of-mouth around the ship that a kid at nearly drowned in the pool.”
Emergency responders from the Coast Guard, FDNY and NYPD rushed to the ship after a 911 call about an 8-year-old child came in about 8 p.m., police said. Passengers were kept off the pool deck, Ritchie said.
A helicopter with the NYPD’s aviation unit airlifted the boy to Staten Island University Hospital, where he remained in critical condition until his death.
The boy was traveling with a group of about 50, all of whom left the ship after the incident, Royal Caribbean’s spokeswoman said.
“Royal Caribbean’s Care Team is providing support to the guest’s family,” a statement from Royal Caribbean said following the tragedy.
The Anthem of the Sea made headlines in February when it was forced to return to Bayonne after it encountered severe storms and heavy winds on its way to the Bahamas.
One passenger suffered a black eye, while another was so fearful that he wouldn't survive the incident that he recorded a farewell message to his family. The cruise line came under fire for not avoiding the storm.