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    Cruise ship pool drowning revives onboard lifeguard debate. Your thoughts?


    The drowning of a six-year-old boy on Carnival Cruise Lines’ Carnival Victory on Oct. 13 is the latest black mark against the cruise industry – at least in the eyes of the mainstream media and perhaps many consumers. As a report on CBS This Morning put it on Oct. 15: “The death is the latest blow for the beleaguered cruise industry.”

    The tragedy, which Carnival said is the first drowning of a child aboard one of its ships, drew numerous comments across bulletin boards and social media, with many blaming the cruise industry -- and Carnival in particular -- for not posting lifeguards at ship pools. On the other hand, many wondered whether it was fair to demonize the cruise industry when few resorts, hotels or public beaches have lifeguards. Others also wondered where the parents were, while some commenters saying drowning can happen very fast without anyone noticing.

    Carnival declined to address the issue beyond its official statement, which confirmed the boy drowned on Oct. 13 on the last leg of a four-day Carnival Victory cruise in the Caribbean. Carnival said the boy, identified as Qwentyn Hunter of Winter Garden, Fla., was at the pool area with other family members at the time. Press reports based on passenger interviews said he was playing with his 10-year-old brother and Carnival said a parent was nearby.

    “Carnival Cruise Lines does not have lifeguards on duty at our pools,” the line said. “As with many land-based hotels and resorts with swimming pools, cruise ships provide conspicuous signage to alert passengers that a lifeguard is not on duty. The maximum depth of the pool is 4 feet, 6 inches, and parental supervision is required for children under 13. In this case, there was a parent present at the time of the incident.”

    Carnival said the emergency call to the shipboard medical team was made at 4:49 p.m. and that medical personnel arrived within five minutes. Two passengers identified as trained health care professionals administered CPR was administered at 4:50 p.m., but could not revive the boy, according to the line.

    For its part, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) pointed out that few land-based properties have lifeguards. “As with many land-based hotels and resorts with swimming pools, cruise ships provide conspicuous signage to alert passengers that a lifeguard is not on duty,” CLIA said in its statement to the media. “In the event of an incident, ocean-going cruise ships have experienced physicians and nurses that are able to provide emergency medical treatment and care for passengers as needed. CLIA works with its members on an ongoing basis to help identify and redress safety concerns aboard cruise ships, and its members will consider any specific concerns or recommendations once an investigation is completed.”

    Other cruise line executives did not immediately respond to requests to discuss the lifeguard issue, so it remains to be seen if any changes are in store for the cruise industry in having lifeguards overseeing ship pools.

    By Theresa Norton Masek

    For more cruise news & articles go to http://www.cruisecrazies.com/index.html

    Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more

    http://www.cruisecrazies.com

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    Very sad indeed. I can only imagine what the family is going thru.

    Do cruise lines need to begin using life guards? As this is the first time this has happened on CCL I would say you do not need to post a life guard. This happened in broad daylight and with adults present and the circumstances should have prevented this if the adult was diligent. It's a terrible accident but as parents it's your job to supervise kids. If kid is abducted say in a mall do you change mall police practices? Again it's up to the parents. I would bet they will regret this for the rest of their lives. Very

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    It is a very sad tragedy, indeed, and I can only imagine what kind of hell the family must be going through right now. I agree - a lifeguard is totally unnecessary on a cruise ship, and the signs are clearly visible indicating the need for parental supervision, and should not take this lightly. I don't want to point fingers and blame anyone, but with the number of people hanging in and around the pool on a hot day, there may be a false sense of security and parents may let down their guard a bit when it comes to watching the kids in the water. All it takes is a second for someone to drown.

    Which also reminds me of another important point - people should never swim alone - even adults, and I am guilty of this. Like an idiot, I was swimming alone in the solarium pool one morning last week just after 6 am. It was great - I had the whole place to myself with not another soul around - except for an occasional passing crew member. What if I had a heart attack and drowned? There would have been no one to see me. I did notice a video camera above the pool, but what if no one were watching it at the time? Did I think a lifeguard should have been posted for just me? No, it's ultimately my responsibility to use common sense.

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    We have developed a false sense of security thinking 'it won't happen to me or mine'... when it certainly can... We think we take all the precautions necessary when in reality there is always one more thing we should and could have done to prevent a tragedy such as this... These parents will forever live with the fact that they were not paying close enough attention to their own child to prevent it's death... how horrible for them... My prayers are with them...

    Jan you are so right... peaceful and wonderful to have the pool to yourself, yes, and I too am guilty of swimming in our pool alone... it's wonderful... but dangerous... nobody would ever know if something happened to me until they find me at the bottom of the pool... you and I are both old enough to know better and therefore should do accordingly... :rolleyes2:

    Safe swimming my friends and safe sailing!!!

    Edited by Karen55

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