BBC News reports that a six year old boy was pulled from a swimming pool on the Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas yesterday.
The AFP news agency says that the child’s heart had stopped when he was found in the cruise ship pool.
BBC says that the cruise ship’s doctor was able to re-start the boy’s heart. The cruise line then requested that the boy be taken for emergency medical treatment ashore in northwest France by helicopter.
A spokesman for a maritime agency in Brest, France said that the "child was found in a state of cardio-respiratory arrest at the bottom of the ship’s pool."
This incident will be certain to trigger another debate whether cruise lines should staff their swimming pools with lifeguards.
In the last year, four children six years of age or younger have drown or nearly drown on the major cruise lines, Disney, Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Lines. None of these ships had lifeguards assigned to their pools at the time.
A 4 year child remains brain damaged after he nearly drowned on a Disney cruise ship, the Fantasy, in March of last year. A 6 year old child is dead after drowning on a Carnival cruise ship, the Victory, in October of last year. A 4 year old is dead and his 6 year old brother is injured after similar tragedies on NCL’s Norwegian Breakaway, last February.
In our view, there is no excuse not to assign lifeguards to cruise ship pools. The costs is minimal and the need is substantial. Yes, parents need to supervise their children but cruise lines need to exercise their corporate responsibility to supervise the pools, enforce pool rules, and be ready to perform CPR if necessary.
Here are two of our many articles on the issue:
Imperfect Parents & Corporate Irresponsibility: Why No Lifeguards?
Dangerous Disney Cruise Ship Swimming Pool: Thoughts from a Concerned Cruiser
Disney is now the only cruise line which employs lifeguards, after the near-fatality last year.
January 4 2015 Update: Another passenger performed emergency CPR on the child and saved him. Harpenden mum saves six-year-old from drowning on holiday cruise.
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Photo Credit: Wikipedia / Jolly Janner