Qwentyn Hunter drowned aboard a Miami, Florida Carnival Cruise ship Monday, news sources report. The cruise ship was still at sea at the time of the tragic accident. Six-year-old Hunter, of Winter Garden, was pronounced dead after being pulled from the pool. An investigation is currently ongoing. It is too soon to say whether charges will be filed or if Hunter’s family will file for damages.
Carnival Cruises is based out of the city of Miami. The cruise line’s massive luxury ships go on four to seven-day journeys across the scenic Caribbean and the Bahamas. The ships come equipped with large swimming pools, sometimes with accouterments like water slides.
Despite having large swimming areas with recreational equipment on their ships, as well as the large number of children aboard some cruises, many cruise lines do not have lifeguards. “Parental supervision is required for children under 13,” a Carnival Cruise spokesperson said following the incident. “In this case, there was a parent present at the time of the incident.”
According to reports, Hunter was aboard the cruise line’s Carnival Victory vessel, which was out on a four-day cruise across the Caribbean. Hunter was with his parents and his 10-year-old brother, sources say. On Sunday, the family went to the vessel’s pool for a swim, reports indicate.
Hunter ended up going underwater and drowning unnoticed, sources allege. When he was spotted, several passengers promptly brought Hunter from the bottom of the pool to the deck. Sadly, attempts to resuscitate Hunter failed and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Authorities boarded the Carnival Victory to investigate the drowning when it returned to port in Miami on Monday. An investigation into the tragic death is now underway. Police have not said whether they will treat this as an accident or a criminal case. It remains to be seen whether Hunter’s family will pursue a civil case against Carnival Cruises.
At least one other child nearly drowned aboard a cruise ship that did not have lifeguards this year, the press says. Four-year-old Chase Lykken of Minnesota was aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship in Port Canaveral, Florida in March when she reportedly narrowly escaped a drowning accident. Lykken did, however, suffer serious brain damage.
Lykken had just boarded the vessel with his family when he was separated from his parents, sources say. He apparently fell into a pool on the deck of the ship, where he remained submerged for about five minutes. Crewmembers found the child and performed resuscitation. He was then rushed to Orlando’s Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, where he made a partial recovery but suffered irreversible brain damage, sources say. “He was unconscious and not breathing for several minutes,” an internet source indicates. “He has a long and difficult recovery process ahead of him. The family is asking for your prayers and support.”
Lykken reportedly suffered damage to several major parts of his brain that control body temperature, breathing, eyesight, hunger, thirst, and sleeping, sources say. He is now working to regain some of his basic skills via therapy, sources indicate. Reports say there are no lifeguards stationed aboard the Disney Fantasy cruise ship; instead, parents are responsible for watching their children.