Leading Cruise Lines Neglect Swimming Pool Safety Despite Tragic Drowning Accidents
When families elect to take advantage of the convenience and luxury of a cruise, the children predictably will spend lots of time in the pool. Many parents do not worry about the safety of their kids because cruise ships are filled with large staffs that often create an illusion of safety. What parents might not know is that several major cruise lines elect not to provide lifeguards for the safety of their guests. The failure to implement this basic safety measure is particularly troubling because the cruise industry has had its share of drowning and near-drowning accidents involving children. Given that approximately 1.5 million children travel on cruise ships annually, the investment in lifeguards to reduce the risk of drowning accidents seems to be a justified expense. Nonetheless, our cruise ship lawyers recognize that major cruise lines continue to gamble on the safety of their young guests by ignoring this obvious safety precaution.
Cruise Lines Continue to Place Saving Money Over Passenger Safety
The indifference of the cruise industry to the risk of children drowning has had tragic results. For example, a young boy nearly drowned on the Disney Fantasy according to media reports. While alert guests averted disaster by recognizing the boy was in distress, lifeguards were not available to prevent this near-drowning. The close call might have turned out differently if the good samaritans had not administered CPR to the boy. Despite the intervention of the guests, the incident still resulted in the boy suffering brain damage due to oxygen deprivation before resuscitation.
In a separate incident, a 10-year-old-girl was not as lucky when traveling aboard a Norwegian cruise ship. The girl drowned while swimming on a vessel owned by the cruise line while the boat traveled near the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. While a representative for the cruise line reportedly told media sources that medical staff attempted to employ CPR and other methods to revive the girl, they did not explain why the cruise line did not staff the ship with trained lifeguards. This story is particularly disturbing because Norwegian was operating without lifeguards during the incident despite experiencing a drowning on the Norwegian Breakaway the prior year.
These tragedies are not isolated incidents that do not merit implementation of reasonable safety measures. A Today Show report indicated that six children have died in drowning incidents on major cruise lines during the last two years. This number does not include near-drownings that often result in permanent brain damage. A substantial number of children are exposed to this risk of drowning because Royal Carribean International, Carnival, and Norwegian cruise lines all operate without lifeguards to prevent pool-related injuries and fatalities. Further, drowning and near-drowning incidents have been reported by media sources on many of the most popular cruise lines over the years.
Investment in Food Services a Higher Priority Than Swimmer Safety
The cruise industry’s ongoing pattern of disregarding this threat to child passengers cannot be justified on a financial basis. Although the cruise industry might attempt to defend the failure to hire lifeguards based on cost, this contention seems difficult to defend given the massive size of the staff on a cruise ship. A thousand employees attend to the needs of guests on cruise ships by engaging in tasks like serving beverages, cooking food, leading social activities, clearing dishes, and other jobs that do not involve vital passenger safety issues. The decision of major cruise lines not to replace a bus boy with a lifeguard is both puzzling and irresponsible.
If you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship, our Miami cruise ship lawyers have the expertise and experience to investigate your claim. We navigate the complex issues involved in personal injury and wrongful death claims stemming from incidents on cruise ships. Our lawyers have over 80 years of collective experience exclusively representing personal injury and wrongful death victims. We offer a free case evaluation, so we invite you to call Gerson and Schwartz, P.A. today toll-free at (877) 475-2905 or email us to schedule your no-obligation case evaluation.
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