Numerous cruise ship drowning accidents and near-drowning accidents have transpired throughout cruise line history, especially this year. What’s even scarier is the fact that several of these terrible incidents have involved children. As it stands, our cruise ship accident attorneys are representing the family of a 4-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a pool aboard the Oasis of the Seas in January of this year. Sadly, this is just one of many similar tragedies.
Despite the recurrent number of drowning deaths and near-deaths, the vast majority of cruise lines still do not employ trained lifeguards to help prevent these horrible tragedies. Currently, there is no maritime law that mandates cruise lines to hire lifeguards. Instead, passengers wishing to use cruise ship pools or hot tubs are expected to swim at their own risk, without even the presence of a crew member to watch over them. And now, unfortunately, we’ve come to learn of yet another cruise ship drowning involving a young child, once again on a Royal Caribbean ship.
According to news sources, the cruise ship drowning accident occurred aboard the Liberty of the Seas on December 21. The victim, an 8-year-old boy, was swimming in one of the ship’s pools while the vessel was sailing to Cozumel, Mexico. Not surprisingly, it was another passenger – and not a cruise line employee or life guard – who realized that something was wrong and pulled the boy from the water. It was also a fellow passenger who pulled the 4-year-old boy whose family we are representing out of the Oasis of the Seas pool.
After being removed from the pool, the Liberty of the Seas medical team administered CPR, but sadly, they were unsuccessful and the boy did not survive.
Royal Caribbean issued a statement regarding the tragedy, saying, “We extend our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of an eight-year-old boy who drowned on board Liberty of the Seas in one of the ship’s swimming pools.”
Perhaps instead of offering condolences AFTER the drowning, Royal Caribbean – along with every other cruise line that does not currently have trained lifeguards on their vessels – should take more time to review and uphold better safety protocols to PREVENT drowning accidents from happening in the first place.
A cruise ship drowning is not something that is inevitable. Lifeguards, who are trained to notice when someone is showing signs of a struggle under water or when a dangerous situation is present that can potentially lead to a drowning, can quickly offer the proper assistance victims need and can help save their lives.
How many more of these horrible tragedies have to occur before all cruise lines begin hiring lifeguards? Every day that a cruise ship sets sail without a lifeguard present is another day in which a potential drowning can occur on board. This is an extremely serious issue that our maritime lawyer, Michael Winkleman, discussed on The Today Show, shortly after the near-drowning of the 4-year-old boy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the boy and hope that they are able to obtain at least some semblance of justice for their terrible loss. Just as the family of the 4-year-old boy was able to do, the family of this young boy can also seek legal help with a cruise ship accident lawyer to discuss their rights and eligibility to file a claim against the cruise line.