Carnival Cruise Line Pool Drowning Sparks Responsibility Debate
On October 13, 2013, a six-year-old boy drowned in a pool on the Carnival Victory. A spokesperson for the cruise line stated that this is the first time a child has drowned aboard a Carnival cruise ship.
However, in the past year, an adult drowned in a hot tub on the same vessel. Traditionally, cruise lines are not required to provide lifeguards around the pool areas. There has been an ongoing debate between corporate responsibility and personal responsibility regarding the pool safety of cruise guests.
Members of the Cruise Line Passenger Ship Committee of the Maritime Law Association feel that drownings are a foreseeable risk, and that lifeguards should be required around the pools. Cruise lines see it differently. They believe that each adult should be responsible for themselves, and that every parent should be responsible for their children.
Cruise line are fearful that once they begin to undertake the responsibility of placing lifeguards by the pools, their liability will increase for any