Broward News

BSO Releases Preliminary Investigation Into Child's Near-Drowning on Cruise Ship

A family vacation pretty quickly turned into a nightmare over the weekend as the cruise ship Oasis of the Seas was pulling anchor out of Port Everglades and leaving South Florida on Saturday. The ship quickly turned around after reports leaked out that a little boy had almost drowned in the early moments of the cruise.

The ship returned to port, and the child was rushed to Broward Health Medical Center after going into full cardiac arrest. Over the weekend, that was pretty much all we knew. But on Sunday night, the Broward Sheriff's Office provided a fuller picture of the incident.

According to a release sent out by BSO, the victim in the case was a 4-year-old from Italy. On Saturday evening, as the ship was leaving port, the boy "wandered away" from his mother on the 15th floor of the vessel.

"The mother frantically searched for her child but was unable to see him enter a wave pool, where he was swept away and remained under water for almost six minutes," BSO said in the release.

Another passenger spotted the child underwater and alerted a third person already in the wave pool. When the boy was hauled out of the water, he was flat-lining. CPR was administered, and his pulse and blood pressure were restored at the ship's infirmary.

By 7:37 p.m., BSO Fire Rescue boarded the ship, and the boy was quickly taken to Broward Health in critical condition.

BSO's Special Victim Units followed up to investigate whether any foul play was involved in the incident. According to the office's release, detectives ruled the incident an accident. All in all, a pretty terrible way for this Italian family to start its vacation.

Authorities haven't released further information about the boy's condition.

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Kyle Swenson
Contact: Kyle Swenson