It is no secret that drownings or near-drownings can happen quickly and unexpectedly. While many individuals may believe that drownings are easily preventable, it is reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that nearly eleven people die from unintentional drowning every day. Anywhere that there is water, a drowning can happen, but the most common places where drownings occur are notably pools, hot tubs, lakes, and the ocean. Because cruises are filled with poolside and ocean fun, the likelihood of someone drowning while on a cruise vacation greatly increases.
The most common reasons for drowning occurrences are:
- Getting in a body of water without the ability to swim ;
- Suffering a medical emergency while submerged;
- Being under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
- Leaving small children unattended; and
The cruise line you are sailing with has the responsibility to provide a safe environment for their passengers and crew members. The cruise ship should always have lifeguards or security personnel watching the premises, but the reality is that a handful of cruise ship pools are still unattended. The only requirement cruise lines must abide by in respect to a lifeguard is to have a sign posted stating that there is no rescuer on duty and all swimmers must enter at their own risk. While there is generally no requirement to have a lifeguard, larger cruise lines such as Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean are more recently employing trained lifeguards to ensure the safety of their passengers and prevent harmful situations from occurring as frequently.
Below are some statistics about drownings that you may be surprised to learn of:
- On average, it takes 3 minutes or less to die or be severely injured from drowning/ near drowning;
- Drownings can occur in as little as 20 seconds;
- After about four minutes underwater and without oxygen, the brain will fail and brain damage can occur; and
- Children under the age of four are the most likely group of people to have a drowning accident.
It is important to always remain cautious when around a large body of water because near drownings can be just as serious as actual drownings. While one may feel lucky to be alive after a near drowning, the complications that follow can still be serious and life altering. Common complications that follow a near drowning include: brain damage, chemical imbalances, pneumonia, memory loss, acute respiratory distress syndrome, poor judgment and motor skills, and hypothermia.
We hope that you can enjoy your cruise vacation without experiencing a drowning or near drowning, but we know the reality of cruise ship accidents. So, in the event that you or a loved one has been injured on a cruise ship, Cardone Law Firm will help you. New Orleans personal injury attorney, Cliff Cardone represents clients all over Louisiana. Mr. Cardone will fight to get each client fair compensation after an accident.