British boy plucked from cruise ship pool fighting for life

BREST, France (AFP) - A six-year-old British boy was fighting for his life in a French hospital on Tuesday after being found unconscious in a swimming pool aboard a cruise ship off the country's Atlantic coast.

"The child was found in a state of cardio-respiratory arrest at the bottom of the ship's pool," said Yann Bouvard, a spokesman for the maritime prefecture in the port of Brest.

French sea rescue services were alerted just before 2pm (1200 GMT) and a medical team was dispatched by helicopter to the Independence of the Seas, a cruise ship belonging to the US company Royal Caribbean Cruise Line (RCCL) which sails under the flag of the Bahamas.

Two hours later, the child was transferred to the Morvan hospital in Brest where his condition was described as "grave".

The Independence of the Seas is a 338-metre vessel with four pools on board which is capable of carrying up to 3,600 passengers, according to the company's website.