Boy, 4, airlifted off Disney cruise after nearly drowning in swimming pool

A four-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital after nearly drowning on a Disney cruise on Saturday.

This is the second drowning incident in a month for the company who do not have permanent lifeguards at their pools. Warnings are posted by the side of the water that lifeguards are not on duty.

The child, whose condition or name have not been released due to privacy reasons, was found unresponsive in a swimming pool on the cruise ship Fantasy at around 3.30 pm.

The ship was briefly docked at Port Canaveral at the time of the near drowning.

After the boy was discovered Disney staff gave him medical attention. The boy was then airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando.

Disney told Fox Orlando that their ‘thoughts are with the family and they’re working to assist them at this time.’ The ship left port and continued on its Caribbean cruise 45 minutes after the near drowning.

This is the second drowning on Disney property this month. Missouri boy Anthony Johnson, 13, died after he was found at the bottom of a pool at a Disney hotel in Orlando on March 10.

The teen’s father and another guest at the hotel performed CPR after he was pulled out of the water.

Officials said the boy was staying at the Pop Century Resort, near the Epcot theme park, with his family.

Witnesses said the teenager was playing in the water on Sunday evening with family members. A cousin spotted him underwater around 9.10pm and alerted others in the group who pulled him out to the side of the pool.

Orange County Sheriff’s officials said the victim had a pulse and was breathing when he was taken to Celebration Hospital. He was then transferred to Florida Hospital South but later died


When a passenger on a cruise ship is injured, the law that applies to an injury claim will most likely be the General Maritime Law of the United States.  At least if the ship is operated by one of the major cruise lines based in the U.S. such as Princess Cruise Lines, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Lines and most all of the others you will be familiar with.

Under U.S. Maritime Law, a cruise line can be held liable for damages if it negligently causes injury to a passenger, no matter where in the world the injury occurs.  Negligence can involve something dramatic, such as the listing event on the Crown Princess several years ago when a navigational error nearly caused the ship to capsize, injuring hundreds of passengers.  Negligence will certainly be a litigated topic for survivors and family members of passengers aboard the Costa Concordia, the  Carnival-owned cruise ship that ran aground off the coast of Italy in January 2012.

But usually the negligence is of a more ordinary sort.  For example a deck that becomes unusually slippery when wet or a poorly marked tripping or falling hazard.  And unfortunately, this sort of negligence is all to common on Cruise Ships.

U.S. Maritime Law protects you on these ships, no matter where in the world the injury occurs. And foreign passengers enjoy the same rights as a U.S. citizens.  But there are important limit on your rights as well that you need to be aware of.

Time Limitation

One of the most important of these limitations is that Cruise Lines are allowed to shorten the time you have to make a claim, and limit the place where you can file suit.  Almost all the cruise lines require an injured passenger to give them  written notice of the claim within 6 months and to file suit within one year of the date of the injury.

Venue Limitation

The second, the passage ticket will limit the place where you can file suit.  Most of the major cruise lines specify either Los Angeles or Miami but some lines specify other cities.

The time and place limits on filing suit must be stated in plain language in your passage ticket so you must check your passage ticket to see what limitations apply to you.  If you still have questions, and experienced maritime personal injury attorney will know what limitations apply for any of the major cruise lines.

Contact a Cruise Ship Accidents and Injuries Attorney

You have rights under maritime law that can protect you, but you also have obligations you must comply with.  Our mission is to help you understand both.

Our attorney’s are available for a no cost, no obligation consultation 24/7.  To arrange a consultation, please call us today toll-free at 1-877-465-8711.



Million Dollar Advocates Forum American Association of Justice Orange County Bar Association - California Consumer Attorneys of California Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum

Gary Kessler, California Personal Injury Lawyer Disclaimer: The California personal injury, wrongful death, swimming pool drowning, boating accident, dog bite, amusement park negligence, pedestrian accident, product liability, aviation accidents, or any other California legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the creation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. The information contained herein is intended for information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. All results described on this site were based on the individual facts of those said cases and are not indicative of future settlements. Results will differ from case to case. Please contact Gary A. Kessler, a California lawyer at our California law firm offices in Newport Beach or our San Francisco Bay Area office.

The Law Offices of Gary A. Kessler are licensed to practice in California, District of Columbia & Pennsylvania. Through local law firms with which we have associations, we are able to represent Personal Injury and Wrongful Death cases across the United States. Our associations allow us to represent clients"pro hac vice", meaning "for this particular occasion". In order to effectively and efficiently represent the client in these cases, we will employ the local law firms (at no additional cost to our client) to make routine court appearances and proceedings where it is necessary to assist our clients case.