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How Did a Little Boy Drown Aboard a Cruise Line?

December 2, 2016
Colson Hicks Eidson

It was a normal launching for the passengers and crew aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas cruise ship. The ship left port at around 4:30 pm on June 30th. At 5:30, the crew announced the ship would be heading back to port. There had been an incident, and it would change one family’s lives forever.

How Did a Little Boy Drown Aboard A Cruise Line?

Anthem of the Seas crew members discovered an 8-year-old boy in one of the ship’s pools. They estimated the boy had been in the pool for around 8-10 minutes, but at the time, he was unresponsive. The crew administered CPR and established a pulse. Then an NYPD helicopter came to the ship and transported the boy to the nearest hospital. The boy spent two days in intensive care. He was in critical condition the whole time. Then on July 2nd, the boy finally succumbed to his injuries.

This 8-year-old from Maryland wasn’t the first child to become a victim of drowning in a cruise line swimming pool. According to the New York Times, another 8-year-old drowned on another Royal Caribbean cruise ship in December of 2015. In August 2015, an 8-year-old girl nearly drowned on the Sapphire Princess. Another child, 10 years old, drowned on a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. This disturbing trend now has many people pointing fingers.

Are Cruise Lines Doing Enough to Prevent Passenger Injuries?

Cruise lines are responsible for keeping their passengers safe while aboard these vessels. So these companies must make a reasonable effort to ensure their ships are safe. But when it comes to swimming pools, some experts don’t think the industry is doing enough. Most cruise liners don’t have on-duty lifeguards. Instead, they have signs warning that passengers swim at their own risk, but can a child understand that risk?

This rash of drownings is building a growing wave of consumers concerned over their safety on cruise liners. However, making a change on the high seas can be very difficult. Stay tuned to our cruise line safety blog to see if anything can be done to make the seas safer.