In 2013, six months after a four year old boy nearly drown on one of its ships, Disney Cruise Line quietly became the first and only major cruise line to have lifeguards. That is up until now. Royal Caribbean International has put a help-wanted ad out for lifeguards. This is GREAT! Major kudos to Royal Caribbean in seeing the value and necessity of having trained lifeguards stationed at aquatic areas located aboard the ship.
According to Cruise Lines International Association, more than 1.5 million children are aboard cruises every year. While some cruise ships have over 1,000 employees aboard, there are no lifeguards aboard three of the biggest cruise lines — Royal Caribbean International, Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival Cruise Lines.
Several children have drowned or nearly drowned in pools on cruise ships in recent years, leading critics to question the industry’s pool safety practices. Having a “no lifeguard” sign isn’t enough. It doesn’t keep people safe. Kids don’t read signs and some children can’t even read what the sign says. In June, an 8-year-old boy was pulled from the pool on Anthem of the Seas after being submerged for eight to 10 minutes, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. He died two days later. This is only one example of several accidents that have happened at sea while families have been on vacation.
Its always important to remember that Lifeguards are there for emergencies but nothing should take the place of a parent/guardians watchful eye and close presence on weak and non-swimmers. More cruise lines, like Disney and Royal Caribbean, should take the initiative to prevent accidents before they happen.
If you are interested in becoming a certified Lifeguard please visit our website or call us at 844-900-SAFE (7233). We continually add classes for the 2017 aquatic season including Lifeguard, Waterfront Training, Safety Training for Swim Coaches, and Title 22.