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FBI investigates child's death on cruise ship off NC coast - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

FBI investigates child's death on cruise ship off NC coast

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The FBI says it's investigating the death of one child and the hospitalization of another after they were pulled from a swimming pool aboard a cruise ship off the North Carolina coast.
   
Bureau spokesman David Couvertier said Wednesday officials from the Tampa division met the Norwegian Breakaway cruise ship when it docked in Port Canaveral, Fla., on Tuesday. Couvertier said the FBI became involved because the Norwegian Cruise Line ship was in international waters about 40 miles off Cape Lookout, N.C., when the two boys were found Monday. He also said it was because the 4-year-old boy who died was a U.S. citizen.
   
A cruise line worker found the two boys unresponsive in the ship's pool shortly beofre noon on Monday, according to the Coast Guard. Medical teams used CPR on the pair, but were only able to revive one of the boys.

Two people who were on board at the time of the incident described what they saw to CBS News.

“They were drowning and there was water in their lungs. They were being resuscitated and water was coming out of their nose and their mouths and I couldn't really bear to watch," one witness told CBS News.

Another commented "To not have someone on duty doesn't make any sense."

The surviving child, who's 6-years-old,  was airlifted with his grandmother and a nurse to Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern by Cherry Point's search and rescue helicopter, "Pedro". The child was later transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville. Hospital spokeswoman Chris Mackey said his family didn't want his condition made public.

9 On Your Side spoke to the children's sister, Anastassia Schwanemann Brownlee, who said, "Thank you for your condolences. Yes the two boys are my brothers, the picture I posted is with one of my brothers (The younger one). I'd rather not speak on the situation though at this time. I'll let my parents handle that situation when they're ready. Again, Thank you for your condolences."

On its facebook page, Norwegian Cruise Lines posted the following about the incident, "We are extremely saddened to report that a tragedy occurred on board Norwegian Breakaway this morning. Our emergency medical team was called and notified that two small children were unresponsive on the pool deck. The team responded immediately and quickly administered CPR to both children. The older child was then airlifted by the U.S. Coast Guard to the closest medical facility, accompanied by his grandmother and a nurse from the ship. Devastatingly, the younger child passed away on board.

We extend our deepest sympathies to the family during this extremely difficult time and are providing full assistance and support.

The family is in our thoughts and prayers and we ask that you please keep them in your thoughts and prayers as well."
 
The Breakaway won the designation of "Best New Ship of 2013." The 4,000-passenger ship is currently on a 7-day cruise to Florida and the Bahamas, having left New York City Sunday.

Stay with wnct.com and 9 On Your Side for more details as they become available.
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