Anthem of the SeasToday, I received emails from passengers, who disembarked from the Anthem of the Seas, that there had been a drowning on the Royal Caribbean ship yesterday.  One guest stated:

"We departed Anthem of the Seas this morning wondering whether there was a death in the main outdoor pool this week. While there were multiple medical emergencies onboard during this cruise, the pool incident was the most talked about amongst guests. This was the first week RCCL had lifeguards onboard. My husband was walking through the pool area when he heard clapping as if someone was doing a stunt in the pool. Then he said the medical response team was called and rushed to the scene and used a defibrillator. The main pool was closed for the rest of the day while security did their investigation. Some passengers said it was a drowning. We also noticed on the itinerary channel that the ships course changed to head directly to the coast as if it were meeting a helicopter. Perhaps that was for any earlier emergency." 

Another guest stated: "A lady drown this week aboard the Anthem."

An eight year old child drowned on the Anthem nine months ago.  That incident was one of four drownings or near-drownings involving children which occurred on Royal Caribbean ships (Liberty of the Seas, Oasis of the Seas and  Independence of the Seas) in the last two years. An adult woman also reportedly drowned on the Anthem last August.  

Ironically, Royal Caribbean just announced that it would begin to employ lifeguards on its ships. The Anthem of the Seas was one of the first ships in the Royal Caribbean fleet to be staffed with lifeguards this month.

Have a comment? Please leave one below or join the discussion on our Facebook page.

Update: I received the following message from a guest: "My family was on this same cruise on Anthem of the Seas this past week and can confirm that an older woman in her 60’s or 70’s did die in the outdoor pool on Friday. My wife and I were in the medical clinic with the nurse when her deceased body was wheeled in. During my follow-up appointment with the doctor on Saturday I asked the doctor about this woman and he confirmed to me that she died by drowning in the pool but it was not yet determined if there was an underlying medical cause, such as a heart attack, etc."

March 20, 2017 Update: This from another guest on the ship: "I was at the pool 2 feet away, from where she entered. I think she was much older than 70’s maybe even 90. She got in to swim, she swam a slow crawl across the pool. She knew how to swim and went the diagonal length, the guard was watching her. When I looked back She was motionless in the water near where she got in. The guard and I saw at the same time. He prodded her with his life float, no response. Then again , no response. He went In and got her out fairly fast. I would have gone in after the first prod, but it was only a couple seconds. She knew how to swim, had to be underlying event."


Photo credit:, Hamburg, Germany – Anthem of the Seas – Cruise Ship in Hamburg, CC BY 2.0, commons / wikimedia.

  • Nancy Peterson

    I do not understand these drownings. All RCCL ships I?’ve bern on have had a very visible rack of life jackets by the pool.

  • Derek

    It was a heart attack on the Anthem of the seas…not a drowning.

  • Boomer

    From what I heard I was on the boat as well. She had a heart attack in the pool.

  • Gary

    The wife and I were on the ship as well. In addition to the reported heart attack, we had heard there was a helicopter medevac also…. was not able to confirm this rumor….

  • Andrew

    We were in the hot tub just feet away when she was dragged from the pool. A medical professional (doctor? nurse?) who was in the tub with us jumped out to assist with CPR. At one point, they turned her to her side, and she vomited, with lots of water. We all clapped, thinking she was OK. Ship personnel and the medical professional continued to work on her for another 20 minutes, pumping her chest, and administering oxygen. My cardiologist was also on board, and was called in as well. When she was wheeled away, we hoped for the best, but are saddened to hear she passed away. Her husband was kept at a distance, and was being consoled by family & crew.

  • Chris

    I was on the deck surrounding the pool when this took place. There were only 3 people in the pool at the time. I observed quick action by two life guards and then two others and security. First Aid was provided right away. The women was very elderly and by all indications it was a heart attack and not a drowning. The life guards I witnessed working all week do an excellent job with the amount of people in the pools. As one employee told me later, hear attacks and people passing away happen on ships often due to the large number of elderly on the ship. This was a case of it happening in a public area. If it was not for the new life guards, it would have been even longer to get medical attention to this lady.

  • Leanne

    I was the nurse who jumped out of the hot tub to help. We tried to revive her as she was pulseless and she had a shockable rhythm ( most likely vfib) and the AED went off and shocked her. It was very sad . May she rest in peace and my heart goes out to the family .


    I was about 6 feet away from that woman inside the pool. when i looked at her she was facing down.i call the life guard and he tapped on her head with his red device 2 times.then i told him she was in trouble.the he jump in the pool and turn her up.i look at the woman and she seams to be ASIA descent and between 60 and 70 years old, also i notice her lips were question is How long does a person needs to be in that situation until the lips turn blue?
    then they put her on the side of the pool and many people arrived fast.but the first woman to help her was in red bikini and she was a nurse, i think.
    it was a sad day for the husband or friend who was sitting just 8 feet away from her crying.
    May she rest in peace and my heart goes to her family.

  • Rachael

    My sister and I just returned from a cruise on Enchantment.
    We were amazed ( also frustrated as we were unable to get in)at the number of unsupervised kids in the hot tubs. There are signs posted restricting under 16 yr olds unless attended by an adult. On occasion the tub was filled with kids only and as young as 4 or 5. We asked the “lifeguard” who wore a luminous green jacket with “emergency response guide” written on it. He did not know this was a rule.We did report our concerns to Guest services but nothing changed during our cruise. We did learn that the ” green jackets” are not lifeguards. There is a posted sign that states no lifeguards on duty. However, these gave a visual impression of at a minimum supervision.
    There were also many young children in the pool with no adult within arms reach
    I strongly suggest:
    1. Royal and all cruise-lines to implement lifeguards, and
    2. Parents-Supervise your children. They are your responsibility