Our cruise ship accident lawyers first reported on the matter last month after learning about the details of the incident. The near-drowning cruise ship accident occurred roughly an hour after Oasis of the Seas departed Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on a 7-night Western Caribbean itinerary. The victim, a 4-year-old boy from Italy, was in the ship’s wave pool when he was swept under a wave. He was reported to have been submerged for around six minutes before a fellow passenger realized he was under water. The passenger then pulled the boy out of the pool, but he was unresponsive at the time and did not have a pulse.
Fortunately, there were a number of passengers on the ship who were trained in lifesaving medical procedures, and successfully performed CPR on the boy. The vessel also changed course back toward land so the boy could obtain further and more extensive medical care. He was transported to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, where his condition was listed as critical, and he was placed in a medically-induced coma for several days.
This, sadly, is just one of several accidents that have transpired throughout the years aboard cruise ship pools – and one that may have been prevented had there been a trained lifeguard monitoring the pool. Though ships these days come well-equipped with the latest and greatest entertainment options and technology innovations, few cruise lines actually employ lifeguards to protect the safety of their passengers and they aren’t even required to. There is currently no maritime law that mandates cruise lines to hire lifeguards. Instead, passengers are expected to swim at their own risk – a pretty big risk considering the fact that cruise ships in this day and age are built to hold well over 3,000 passengers.
Our cruise ship accident attorneys have stressed the importance of having trained lifeguards on ships and how they can provide the necessary emergency assistance the moment a drowning accident occurs. Just a few seconds of submersion under water can lead to serious brain and lung trauma, if not death. These moments are critical and can mean the difference between life and death. Yet, until a set law is passed that requires cruise lines to have lifeguards on board, the drowning and near-drowning accident tally will likely continue to escalate.
It is extremely fortunate the boy in this near-drowning incident is alive after being submerged for six minutes. Statistics show that drowning accidents can happen in the blink of an eye – even to the most experienced of swimmers. And with so many cruise passengers being children, the need for cruise lines to hire experienced lifeguards is at an all-time high.