You take your family on a cruise featuring a huge Olympic-sized swimming pool on deck. Your kids are excited to get a chance to enjoy the water while on the ship. However, when you arrive at the pool you notice something quite troubling – no lifeguards. For our team of cruise ship injury lawyers, not having a lifeguard on duty is simply unacceptable and extremely dangerous.
As of the date of this posting, only Disney requires lifeguards to be on duty at swimming pools onboard cruise ships. You read that correctly – out of all the various cruise lines (e.g., Carnival, Viking, Winstar, etc.) only one liner requires on-duty lifeguards. The other cruise lines appear to have decided that since lifeguards are not legally required, they do not want to invest in this important safety precaution.
There does not appear to be any other legitimate reason for not having at least one lifeguard on duty at swimming pools on cruise ships, especially with so many ships being occupied by families with young children able to access the pools. The cruise ship industry has grown precipitously with mega cruise ships featuring massive pools utilized by hundreds of passengers. These cruise liners must understand that a drowning can occur in the blink of an eye. In fact, in many instances, a drowning situation may not even be recognized by a passenger until it is too late.
Congress Needs to Take Action
If cruise liners continue to throw caution to the wind and leave pools open for passenger use without any lifeguards present, Congress needs to get involved and pass a safety regulation. Make no mistake about it, the cruise ship industry would likely fight any regulatory action. This may shock you, but Congress actually had to step in and require that cruise liners report crimes that took place aboard their ships. Prior to that that regulation, it was voluntary and the data was sparse regarding the types and frequency of crimes that occurred on cruise ships. The same data is needed for drowning incidents aboard cruise ships.
With Great Profit Comes Great Responsibility
Cruise ships are reaping huge profiting by having more elaborate ships featuring major swimming attractions such as Olympic-sized pools, wave machines, etc. With the money they are bringing in, they should invest in having at least one, if not more, lifeguard on duty. It could actually help save them money by reducing the number of drowning incidents, which may thereby reduce potential litigation and medical costs.
Contact an Experienced Cruise Ship Injury Law Firm Today
As it stands today, the only way cruise ship companies are going to get the message about the importance of lifeguards is through the courts. If a loved one drowned or suffered a permanent injury after being deprived of oxygen while underwater in a cruise ship pool, contact our maritime law firm today. The cruise ship accident attorneys at Gerson & Schwartz, PA are here to help. We are licensed to practice law in all Florida state and federal courts and are affiliated with lawyers and firms in jurisdictions throughout the United States.