Why do some cruise ships not have lifeguards?


Cruise ships have been around ever since the mid-eighteen hundreds. The concept began when cargo ships transported people from England to the states. They soon started taking people to exotic locations such as the Greek islands. You would think that safety would be a primary consideration as these Cruise Lines evolved. However, they were far more concerned with luxury and opulence.

2017 saw a number of deaths from drowning in cruise ship pools.  Inspiring Norwegian, Disney, and Caribbean Cruiselines to add lifeguards at their pools. Some ships still refuse to have lifeguard services.

The Death at High Seas Act of 1920 protects cruise lines from having to pay for anything other than funeral expenses in the case of the death of a non-wage earner. Hence, if a child or person whose disabilities or age prevents them from working dies, a family may have a hard time recovering damages. For many years cruise ships had little reason to provide lifeguards. Many ship lines rely on parents to be responsible for their children’s well being. 

Recent Changes

The proliferation of class action lawsuits, large numbers of children dying, and general public concern has caused some cruise lines to reconsider their safety protocols in general. Most cruise lines provide safety jackets for swimmers and have signs posted poolside regarding safety. Some of them train staff in CPR and first aid.

Once patronized primarily by retirees and honeymooners, luxury cruise vacations are now often aimed at families. Ship swimming pools often feature elaborate slides and high dives. They simply offer more opportunities to get injured than they used to. 

Although some cruise ships make their passengers sign detailed wavers, it may be unrealistic to expect parents to be able to watch their children every second. If those children are winding their way through an elaborate slide, they may not even be visible at all times. 

Currently, Carnival is the only major luxury cruise line that does not employ lifeguards. They do provide Coast Guard approved safety jackets.

Many cruise ships will drain the water in the pools at night arguing that it is safer and more sanitary to do this. However, a drained swimming pool on a darkened ship deck may cause an accident as well.

What to do if You are Injured in a Ship’s Pool

If you have lost a loved one to any onboard accident, or if you have been injured yourself, there are cruise ship lawyers who can help you. If a cruise ship employs lifeguards and they did not have a lifeguard posted at the time of the accident, you may be able to recover damages. If you were injured on a boat that does not have lifeguards posted, you may still be able to be compensated certain conditions exist. 

Getting injured or losing a loved one when you are on vacation is one of the worst things you can experience. Receiving insurance money can help to soften the effects of loss and help you get on with your life.