Tourism & Cruises

Medical examiner: 8-year-old boy who had been on Royal Caribbean ship accidentally drowned

Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas’ pool deck.
Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas’ pool deck. Royal Caribbean International

An 8-year-old boy who was in critical condition after nearly drowning aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Anthem of the Seas has died, the medical examiner’s office in New York City confirmed Monday.

The boy, Prince Adepoju of Maryland, died at Staten Island University Hospital on July 2 from accidental drowning, with a contributing factor of seizure disorder, the medical examiner’s office said Monday. His death followed a June 30 incident aboard the 4,905-passenger Anthem of the Seas, when he was found unresponsive in a pool.

The boy received CPR on the ship, which was on a seven-day Caribbean itinerary, before the ship changed course and sailed back toward port in Bayonne, New Jersey. He was rushed to the Staten Island hospital in critical condition.

“We are heartbroken to learn the news. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this terribly sad time,” said a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman.

About a dozen drowning or near-drowning incidents have occurred on major cruise lines in the past two years.

Like most hotels, cruise ships don’t have lifeguards on duty. Royal Caribbean International does post signs alerting adults to the “swim at your own risk” policy and provides life jackets for children in a variety of sizes in the pool area, according to a Royal Caribbean spokeswoman. Of the major cruise companies, only Disney Cruises has lifeguards at shipboard pools.