By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
DISNEY Cruise Line has confirmed that there were two swimming incidents – one fatal, one serious – involving passengers on two separate cruise ships last week at Castaway Cay.
Rebecca Petty, the company’s media relations spokesperson, said the incidents occurred on Thursday and Friday and involved two adult males from the Disney Wonder and Disney Fantasy cruise ships.
On Sunday, a male passenger on board the Disney Dream was found dead while it was moored at Castaway Cay.
Regarding the swimming accidents, Ms Petty said there are lifeguards employed on the private island in the Abacos, where the Disney fleet makes exclusive calls.
A 38-year-old New York man, a passenger on the Disney Wonder, drowned while swimming at the adult beach on Thursday. He was found unresponsive and was later pronounced dead.
A second adult male, a passenger on the Disney Fantasy, was also found unresponsive at the family beach on Friday. “The guest was wearing snorkelling vest and gear and was discovered unresponsive in the water at the family beach by a lifeguard,” said Ms Petty. “They brought him ashore and they gave him life saving measures and he was ultimately transported to hospital in Miami.”
When asked how many lifeguards are on call at the cay, Ms Petty said: “I don’t have a number, but we always had them.” Asked whether the man was still in hospital in Miami, she said that she could not share any additional information out of respect for the family’s privacy.
According to reports on Cruise Critic, an online website, the man was on a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise out of Port Canaveral. It reported that a Disney spokeswoman confirmed the man was airlifted to a hospital in Miami by the Coast Guard, but did not know whether he was successfully resuscitated.
Ms Petty said the man who had died on Sunday appeared to have died from a medical condition. Bahamian authorities have classified it as a sudden death. Disney officials are assisting Bahamian authorities with their investigations into these incidents.