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Published March 30, 2013, 09:53 PM

4-year-old boy airlifted after being pulled from pool on Disney cruise ship

ORLANDO, Fla. — A 4-year-old boy was pulled from a pool on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando on Saturday, authorities said.

By: By Susan Jacobson,Orlando Sentinel (MCT), Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — A 4-year-old boy was pulled from a pool on the Disney Fantasy cruise ship and airlifted to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando on Saturday, authorities said.

Brevard County and Disney rescue workers responded to the ship about 3:30 p.m. EDT for a potential drowning at the family pool, one of three pools onboard, officials said.

The family had just boarded for a seven-day cruise to the western Caribbean.

“We’re focused on assisting the family,” Disney spokeswoman Rena Langley said. “Clearly, our thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”

Port Canaveral police found the boy “in distress” at the pool, spokeswoman Rosalind Harvey said. He was taken by ambulance to Cape Canaveral Hospital and later flown by medical helicopter to Orlando, she said.

He had a pulse at the time, but his condition was unknown late Saturday.

Witnesses said on online Disney message boards that the child’s parents were not in the pool when the accident happened but ran over while emergency rescuers worked on him.

“They both nearly collapsed,” one witness wrote.

The parents and two other children left the ship in their bathing suits as they boy was being removed, witnesses said.

There are no lifeguards on the ship, and signs at the pool indicate this, Langley said.

The cruise left port 45 minutes late at 5:45 p.m.

Earlier this month, a 13-year-old boy died two days after he was pulled from a swimming pool at Disney’s Pop Century Resort.

Anthony Johnson died March 12.

Witnesses told deputies the boy was playing in the Hippy Dippy pool with relatives when he disappeared under the water.

The boy’s cousin pulled him out, and the child’s father immediately began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, deputies said. Bystanders also performed CPR, officials said.

Anthony, who was on vacation with his family from Missouri, was taken to Florida Hospital Celebration Health.

Lifeguards were at that pool from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on March 10. Signs are posted there warning guests that they swim at their own risk after hours, Disney spokeswoman Marilyn Waters said.

“We are saddened by Anthony Johnson’s passing and our hearts go out to his family, friends and loved ones. We have reached out to his family to offer care and assistance during this difficult time,” the company said in a statement at the time.

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