Six-year-old drowns aboard Carnival Cruise ship

MIAMI Mon Oct 14, 2013 12:13pm EDT

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MIAMI (Reuters) - A 6-year-old Florida boy drowned over the weekend in a crowded swimming pool during a family getaway aboard a Carnival Cruise ship, authorities said on Monday.

"The boy was apparently playing with his 10-year-old brother in the pool when they suddenly found him at the bottom," said Detective Javier Baez of the Miami-Dade Police Department.

"They attempted to administer CPR however, unfortunately, they were not successful," Baez said.

He said the drowning occurred on Sunday afternoon, while the Carnival Victory ship was on the last leg of a four-day Caribbean cruise. The midship pool, where the incident took place, was "pretty packed" at the time.

Officers from the Miami-Dade Police Homicide Bureau boarded the ship on Monday to question witnesses, including the boy's family from the central Florida town of Winter Garden, and the incident was still under investigation, Baez said.

A police statement, which identified the boy as Qwentyn Hunter, said foul play was not suspected.

Miami-based Carnival Corp & Plc has been struggling to restore its reputation and profitability since 32 people died in last year's sinking of its Costa Concordia cruise ship off the Italian coast.

The company expressed its regrets to the family of the boy in a short statement.

A company spokeswoman said Carnival does not have lifeguards on duty at its pools.

"Parental supervision is required for children under 13. In this case there was a parent present at the time of the incident," Carnival's Joyce Oliva said.

She did not elaborate and family members could not be reached for immediate comment.

(Reporting by Tom Brown; editing by Andrew Hay)

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