Just when it seems that the cruise industry really can’t ignore common sense safety precautions any more than they have already, new information comes out guaranteed to surprise anybody with a modicum of common sense. This time it has to do with national news reports revealing the lack of safety precautions used by cruise ships at their onboard pools.
Report reveals Lack of Lifeguards
An NBC News Today Show report recently revealed that many cruise lines have no lifeguards at or around their onboard pools, despite more than 1.5 children million cruising every year (although lifeguards are a safety precaution for all passengers, not just children).
The report detailed numerous incidents of children who nearly drowned in onboard cruise ship pools. In most cases, it was fellow passengers who had to rescue them from certain drowning. But many children are not rescued, dying as a result of unmonitored activity in the pools. And even where rescued, many children suffer serious brain injury after a near-drowning event.
Other than Disney, almost no other major cruise line stations lifeguard at their pools, according to the report.
Cruise Industry Gives Pathetic Response
The cruise lines international association, speaking on behalf of the cruise lines, simply responds by saying that there are signs onboard clearly disclosing the lack of a lifeguard. In other words, the cruise lines believe that as long as they tell you they are disregarding common safety procedure, it must be okay.
Another common cruise line tactic when there is a tragedy is to blame the parents. Surely, parents have some responsibility in monitoring and safeguarding their own children. But a cruise ship may have 1,000 children onboard, and it takes only a moment’s distraction for tragedy to strike. In many cases, a drowning is silent—there may be no splashing or disruption to alert a parent. Even the most diligent parents can’t keep a constant eye on a pool the way a lifeguard can (and many may not even have the water skills themselves to assist a drowning child).
Don’t be fooled by the “safety” of shallow water either—children can drown in shallow water as well as deep water.
The cruise lines give no reason why most water amusement parks have lifeguards, yet the cruise industry doesn’t feel it’s necessary for them.
When Will Lifeguards Be Implemented?
Because only a handful of dead and disabled children apparently isn’t enough to make a decision, the association says it’s continuing to monitor the situation to see if additional safety measures should be implemented.
As is the case with many injury lawsuits, cases can have not just the effect of trying to make a victim whole, but can also have larger effects on the safety of entire industries. That means change may only come when problem hits the industry in its pockets, through lawsuits and verdicts that force cruise lines to implement lifeguards.
If you are injured while a passenger on a cruise ship, don’t allow poor safety measures to continue. Hold negligent cruise ships responsible, and speak to a maritime attorney about making a claim or lawsuit for your injuries. Talk to the Florida cruise ship attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. today for a free consultation about your cruise injury case.