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August 10, 2015

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Tragic cruise ship girl in critical condition

AN 8-year-old girl is in a critical condition at a city hospital after being found unconscious in a cruise ship swimming pool.

This follows an incident a year ago in which a young woman drowned in a pool on the same liner, the Sapphire Princess, which is owned by Princes Cruises.

Carnival Corporation, the American/British owners of Princess Cruises, said passengers are advised that they are responsible for their own safety in its ships’ pools.

The child and her mother, whose surnames are Yang, left Shanghai on August 2 for a trip to Fukuoka in Japan and South Korea’s Chejudo Island.

The girl was found unconscious in a swimming pool in the afternoon of August 5, after a search by her mother.

The ship returned to Shanghai early the following morning and the child was rushed to Xinhua Hospital.

Last night, a hospital official said she remained in a critical condition.

The mother told Xinmin Evening News that she took her daughter to the pools located on the 14th floor of the ship.

She let the daughter play in the paddling pool as she had only started learning to swim last month.

The mother was relaxing beside the pool when she noticed that her daughter was missing. Other tourists found the little girl unconscious in a deeper pool.

Surveillance camera footage and an examination showed that she had been in difficulties for seven to nine minutes.

Medical staff used a ventilator to keep the child breathing until the ship reached Shanghai’s Wusong Dock at 3am the next day. The girl reached hospital some 12 hours after the incident.

The mother said she had no idea how her daughter reached the deeper pool, which is more than 1.2 meters deep.

She said ship staff said afterward that it is stated in the ship’s daily paper that the swimming pools do not have lifeguards and that parents should accompany their children.

Wang Ping, director of the Shanghai branch of Carnival Corporation, told Shanghai Television that there are prominent signs in Chinese at the entrance of the pools stating that passengers are responsible for their own safety.

A 29-year-old woman was found dead in a swimming pool on the Sapphire Princess on August 7 last year.


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