Officials: Boy, 8, critical after found in cruise ship pool

Posted at 6:41 AM, Jul 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-01 09:42:34-04
BAYONNE, N.J. -- The U.S. Coast Guard says an 8-year-old boy who fell into a pool on a cruise ship off the coast of New Jersey Thursday evening and nearly drowned is in critical condition.
Coast Guard Senior Chief Steven Allard tells the New York Daily News that the boy had been in the water for eight to 10 minutes before officials with Royal Caribbean's Anthem of the Seas found him.
Allard says the boy received CPR on the ship, which changed course and sailed toward Bayonne. Fire officials say the boy was taken to a hospital on Staten Island.
The ship left New York Harbor and was heading to the Caribbean on what was to be a nine-day cruise at the time. San Diego native Mike Ritchie was aboard the ship.
“It’s really a sinking feeling, and your heart goes out to the family because having raised three kids all you can think about is man, I feel for that family so bad,” Ritchie said.
According to law enforcement sources, the boy was part of a group of 49 people traveling from The Netherlands. A helicopter met the ship at sea and flew him to the hospital.
Ritchie said he and the rest of the passengers will stay in New Jersey Thursday night before the ship heads back out Friday.
“Whatever prayers they want to say, whatever their faith is, put out good thoughts for this family because I know they’re going through a lot,” he said.
Royal Caribbean says it's providing support to the boy's family.