Should Lifeguards Be Required on Cruise Ships?

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We have previously reported about drownings on cruise ships. We believe this is a major problem that needs to be addressed. We have handled too many cruise ship drowning cases that we believe could have been prevented.

Cruise ship drowning accident lawyer Brett Rivkind previously spoke before the United States Congress on cruise ship safety and security. He urged Congress to closely analyze the cruise ship industry, their self-regulation, the laws that apply to them, and the laws that do not apply to them. Without strong safety legislation, passengers have to rely on the cruise ship industry itself to address many of the safety risks that are present aboard these ships. Historically, we believe that this is a terrible method to assure safety for passengers, as the cruise ship companies are worried about their image and their profits rather than preventing cruise ship passenger accidents. Therefore, safety often gets ignored in favor of profits.

Are Lifeguards Essential for Cruise Ship Safety?

One major issue is whether cruise ship companies should be required to have lifeguards present aboard their ships. We believe they should. There are major swimming attractions aboard the cruise ships that are there to attract passengers, including young children. Additionally, there are thousands of passengers on board these large cruise ships, oftentimes creating a somewhat chaotic atmosphere.

Many times a drowning about to happen is not easily spotted by an untrained individual. Properly trained lifeguards look for situations that could put children at risk for drowning and wrongful death on a cruise ship, and take precautionary measures before a drowning happens. In addition, lifeguards are trained to recognize an actual drowning that is occurring, while a layperson may not even notice the drowning until it is too late. Of course, lifeguards are then trained to rescue when there is a drowning situation. To our Gulf Coast drowning death lawyers, there is no excuse for not having lifeguards present aboard the cruise ships.

Why Do Cruise Ships Not Employ Lifeguards?

It is a crowded environment onboard a cruise ship, with thousands of passengers aboard the ship wandering around, and tons of attractions to participate in, and things to see and observe. A trained lifeguard protecting the pool areas would not cost the cruise line a lot of money and would prevent disasters like this from occurring. It only takes seconds for a young child to start drowning, and drownings, believe it or not, occur mostly when young children are in close proximity to those supervising them. It is often difficult to recognize a drowning immediately if you are not a professional. A professional lifeguard would be diligent in watching out for any problem situations around the pool areas onboard the cruise ships. Disney, after learning a lesson from a disaster onboard one of their cruise ships, started utilizing lifeguards onboard their ships. All the cruise lines should do so. It is a necessity and should be required for the cruise line industry.

So, why do the cruise ship companies continue to disregard the need for lifeguards aboard their ships despite these drownings which keep on occurring? Maybe just for the same reason, the cruise ship companies have failed to implement available technology to address passengers and crew members going overboard on a cruise ship, which would assist in early detection and a quicker rescue effort.  Is it because of the usual profits over safety mentality? We believe so.

The same is true of the placement of lifeguards aboard cruise ships. Why not? Lifeguards will cost money; more employees to train, more employees to pay, and more employees occupying valuable cabin space, taking away from the sales of passenger tickets.

One can read about Ellis and Associates, a company providing lifeguard training, as well as look at the materials the Red Cross has available about drownings to easily ascertain that drownings are preventable but require trained lifeguards to recognize a drowning situation, as well as trained lifeguards who know how to promptly respond to a drowning situation. Speak with our lawyer for overboard accidents on cruise ships today if you or a loved one fell overboard due to a lack of lifeguards or security.

Contact Our Cruise Ship Passenger Accident Lawyers for a Free Consultation

We hope that there will be justice, the cruise ship company will be held accountable for failure to have lifeguards, and some good will come by increasing the pressure on the cruise ship industry to uniformly place lifeguards on cruise ships.

Our cruise ship injury lawyers have been handling cases with the cruise ship industry since 1983. We continue to act as safety advocates for those who are injured or harmed at sea and are available for free consultations on maritime safety and security issues. Call (305) 374-0565 today.


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Brett Rivkind is a lawyer that not only cares but also a lawyer that makes a difference. Whether its speaking in congress to help promote safety awareness in legislation or representing clients in court seeking compensation for their injuries, Brett Rivkind is passionate about his dedication toward both promoting safety at sea and helping clients in need who have been harmed at sea.

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  • $6.3 MillionBack Injury
  • $2.9 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $2.7 MillionCrewmember Injury
  • $2.1 MillionSlip & Fall
  • $1.2 MillionCruise Ship Injury
  • $1 MillionSeaman Back Injury
  • $980,000Cruise Ship Injury
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  • $375,000Shoulder Injury

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“My only regret is that I did not turn to Brett Rivkind for help sooner.”

“After struggling for more than a year to get the cruise line to take responsibility for a series of medical blunders on board that nearly killed me, I got offered a settlement within weeks of turning to acclaimed Maritime Attorney Brett Rivkind for help”

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