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Near-Drowning On Royal Caribbean Line Raises Cruise Ship Lifeguard Debate

July 4, 2014
Colson Hicks Eidson

A young boy has been hospitalized after nearly drowning in a pool on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship. This tragedy has once again raised the issue of whether or not cruise ships need active lifeguards around their swimming pools.

Most cruise ships do not have lifeguards stationed at their pools. Signs are posted warning passengers to swim at their own risk, similar to what you would see at many hotels, but this is hardly sufficient. A four-year-old boy drowned and a second six-year-old child was airlifted to a hospital after an accident onboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship just this past February.

That ship, the Norwegian Breakaway, has not yet installed lifeguards at their pools. As of this writing, only Disney Cruise Line has lifeguards stationed at its family pools. The company made the change last year, after a four year old nearly drowned on one of its ships.

How Can My Family Be Safer Around Public Swimming Areas?

In light of the continued absence of lifeguards onboard cruise ships, families should work together to observe specific guidelines for water safety. These rules apply on a cruise ship, but they should also be observed at any lake, beach or backyard pool. Some suggestions for both parents and children:


  • Never allow any child to swim alone.
  • Never entrust one child’s life to another child.
  • Do not allow yourself to get distracted.


  • Always wear life jackets or flotation devices around water.
  • Stay within reach of an adult.
  • Ask permission before going near the water.

We Work to Defend the Rights of Victims and Their Families

If a company’s negligence takes your loved one’s life, you need a successful attorney to represent you. As Julie Braman Kane explains in the video above, at Colson Hicks Eidson we offer powerful legal representation for families devastated after the wrongful death of a family member. Call us today.

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