A 12-year-old boy from Germany died at sea while traveling on a Mediterranean cruise with his family earlier this week.
The boy's family had requested medical attention for the child while aboard the ship, but attempts to resuscitate him were not successful. He died around 3 a.m. on Tuesday.
The MSC Divina cruise ship (pictured) was heading from Palermo to Cagliari
"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."
Due to the unexpected illness, the boy's parents and two brothers were taken to a hospital in Sardinia where they were quarantined as a preventative method, according to the L'Union Sarda newspaper.
Coast Guard officials arrived at the port where MSC Divina remained docked and authorities were reportedly alerted to the boy's sudden death. No investigation, however, was launched because the cause of death was determined to have been natural, according to the outlet.
Before his untimely death, the boy had been feeling sick during the first stop of the cruise in Civitavecchia. He underwent a medical exam and continued onto the next stop of Sardinia, where his condition began to deteriorate, according to Newsweek. He was pronounced dead just three hours from Sardinia's southern coast.
A spokesman for MSC Cruises says they're working with authorities and German embassy officials to assist the family in any way possible.
"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 spokesman said. "We are deeply saddened by this incident and offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and those affected."
MSC told USA TODAY that they can't reveal the symptoms the boy was dealing with when he began feeling ill and they declined to share other details with respect to the family's privacy.
No one else on the ship had been dealing with similar symptoms as the child, the outlet added.
MSC Divina has continued its journey around the Mediterranean following the incident, according to II Messaggero.