A 12-year-old German boy died suddenly aboard a cruise ship in the Mediterranean early Tuesday morning.
The child reportedly fell on board the MSC Divina while the ship was sailing from Palermo, Italy to Cagliari, Sardinia. Despite the medical staff’s best efforts, the boy died around 3 a.m. Tuesday.
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“While the staff of our Medical Centre reacted promptly, the health status of the child unexpectedly deteriorated. Despite several attempts to resuscitate the child, he, unfortunately, passed away,” a spokesperson for MSC Cruises told Newsweek. “The cause of this matter has not been identified yet, however, out of respect for the deceased and his family, and to respect medical privacy, we are unable to disclose any further details.”
The boy’s parents and two brothers were transported to a local hospital in Sardinia and placed in quarantine for two to three hours as a precautionary measure.
No investigation has been launched as medical officials determined the cause of death to be natural.
MSC Divina continued its voyage but the cruise line told Newsweek that it’s working with authorities and German embassy officials to assist the family with repatriation efforts.
“We are offering our full support to the family at this extremely difficult time and a dedicated care team onsite is providing support and comfort,” the MSC Cruises spokesperson added. “We are deeply saddened by this incident and offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and those affected.”
The incident comes just three months after an 18-month-old toddler tragically fell to her death from the 11th-floor deck of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas cruise ship while it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The Telegraph reported that there are an estimated 200 cruise passenger deaths a year, not including people who die going overboard. For perspective, nearly 26 million people cruised globally in 2017, according to data from the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association.