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With the recent news of a child nearly drowning on Independence of the Seas (nearly drowned, contrary to article's title), do you think that Royal Caribbean needs to staff lifeguards poolside? According to a recent CC article, Disney Cruise Lines is the only major line to staff lifeguards.

 

As a certified lifeguard myself, as well as Lifeguard Instructor: American Red Cross, Basic Life Support Instructor: American Heart Assocation, and a Certified Community Emergency Responder, I have my own opinion.

 

Legally speaking, SOME states have passed laws that state ALL businesses operating swimming pools must provide a lifeguard during operating hours. Other states say that "Swim at your own Risk" signs are sufficient. Regardless, I think the only thing that the family COULD argue if they wanted to come after RCI is the notion of a "gate" of sorts--basically means to keep young children from inadvertently venturing into a swimming pool. Beyond that, I am of the opinion that staffing swimming pools with lifeguards would a) change the ambiance of the pool deck, even if they didn't enforce any rules, and were just there as a precaution, and b) provide parents with an even larger false sense of security, potentially leading to more emergencies.

 

What are YOUR thoughts?

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I agree with your observation that life guards on board would further result in parents having a greater feeling of lack of responsibility for watching/supervising their children.  To enact a requirement for life guards to be present while the pools are open most likely would also result in elimination of having pools and hot tubs open 24/7 with restricted hours for swimming.  It is not uncommon for hotels to not have life guards, keeping in mind your statement that this is different in some states.  I remember a few years ago I was at MGM in Vegas and they kept closing pools and moving people to other pools because a life guard was due to end his/her shift and there was no replacement life guard due to cut backs.

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nearly drowned, contrary to article's title

I had this conversation with someone else.  I don't believe to drown requires you die.  If you find someone at the bottom of the pool, you would describe them as....?

 

Also Meriam Webster defines drown as "to suffocate by submersion especially in water".

 

Sorry, I had to defend my grammar :P

 

---

 

Back to the topic, I see it both ways.  These pools are so small and there are plenty of pools, beaches and lakes where it's swim at your own risk.

 

On the other hand, RC is a family cruise line and it would only help to have a lifeguard present.

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I had this conversation with someone else.  I don't believe to drown requires you die.  If you find someone at the bottom of the pool, you would describe them as....?

 

Also Meriam Webster defines drown as "to suffocate by submersion especially in water".

MW definition is correct. Think of it this way... Drowning : Drowned :: Dying : Died :: Suffocating : Suffocated.

 

I think lifeguards would lead to more deaths. I hope that RC's only response is to put up signs to watch your kids or something.

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As a formed lifeguard and instructor myself I wish I could support the proposition... but, a boy does not end up unconscious in a small cruise ship pool during the middle of a hot sea day with lots of people around... my guess is that there is more to this story... and RCI has un-certified pool/ deck supervisors... there is more to this story....

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As a formed lifeguard and instructor myself I wish I could support the proposition... but, a boy does not end up unconscious in a small cruise ship pool during the middle of a hot sea day with lots of people around... my guess is that there is more to this story... and RCI has un-certified pool/ deck supervisors... there is more to this story....

I respectfully disagree. With what we know about the bystander effect and even PROFESSIONAL lifeguards' hesitation to react, I can FULLY believe that a child slips beneath the surface or lay face down at the surface with no response from people around...Remember, there is no "standard" to what a drowning looks like, and can take only seconds. 

 

I've watched as a child was NEXT TO an adult, and fell into distress. It was a SUPER busy day. I saw him, looked at the adult and shouted, "MISS, GRAB HIM NOW! HE'S DROWNING." She had no idea who he was but wouldn't react if I hadn't said anything.

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Have you been on a Freedom class ship? The pool is tiny and the water is about 4 ft deep and you are surrounded by an amphitheater of deck chairs.... Yes, that is "enough" water for a child to drown in (so is a bathtub).... And I know you mention the "bystander effect" but RCI also has deck supervisors watching the pool area (the "poop patrol") all day long, there are simply no blind spots in a pool set up like this...

 

And btw - this ship was out of GB, not the US (I know US citizens are notorious bystanders as you suggest, they will literally video each other dying before lending a hand)....

 

My suspicion is  that the poor kid didn't just stepdown the ladder, let go of the edge and drown as 200 people around him just watched! (ie; the kid DIVED in and hit his head on the bottom OR... was pushed by another guest OR something else....) ... These pools are tiny and packed on sea days, so for an accident like this to happen there must have been contributing factors that we are not being told....

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From my observations I would say the ships pool patrol are probably the least attentive people on the pool deck.

Except when it comes to towels. They will take your towel from your lounge chair the MOMENT you turn your back.

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I haven't even seen that.  I was on a cruise just a month ago and the pool patrol came and took a picture early in the morning of 6-7 chairs with towels on them.  I figured they were time stamping them with a camera.  They never came back to remove the towels and it was well over an hour before any of the cruisers showed up to take a seat.

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This is so difficult cause both sides can argue their point - but I agree that parents are the most responsible for their kids on ships or anywhere around water and I would not think that having lifeguards would change that on ships at all.

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This is so difficult cause both sides can argue their point - but I agree that parents are the most responsible for their kids on ships or anywhere around water and I would not think that having lifeguards would change that on ships at all.

Agreed, it's a tough situation

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