Cruise Ship Drowning Breathes Life Into Lifeguard Debate Once Again
PHOTO: Anthem of the Seas (photo courtesy of Royal Caribbean)
We’ve seen this headline before, but a recent near-fatal drowning incident onboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas has breathed new life into the debate regarding lifeguards on cruise ships.
Currently, the industry holds that cruise ships are like floating hotels and similar to hotels, the responsibility of looking out for swimmers rests in the hands of the parents or adult guardians.
However, a recent article in Conde Nast Traveler declared that these days, cruise ships are more like floating amusement parks than just hotels.
And if we have lifeguards at beaches and amusement parks, why not on cruise ships? Here's the view expressed in CNT:
"In my view, cruise ships should have lifeguards for the same reason you would expect lifeguards at a water park," B. Chris Brewster, president of the United States Lifesaving Association, told Fox News back in 2014. "Cruise ships are essentially floating amusement parks, and they should be providing reasonable protections with respect to the attractions they offer."
A near drowning on Disney Fantasy prompted Disney Cruise Line to install lifeguards at all pools, but other cruise lines have yet to follow suit. That being said, warnings to parents and guardians are clearly posted around pools indicating that children need to be supervised by an adult.
Read the Conde Nast Traveler article for tips on how to keep children safe at unguarded pools — good advice whether you are on a cruise ship, at a hotel or just in your own backyard.
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