A 4-year-boy nearly drowned in a wave pool aboard the Royal Caribbean cruise ship Oasis of the Seas is in critical condition at a Broward hospital. The cruise ship was less than two hours into its voyage when the boy wandered into the wave pool located on one of the top decks. The child was under water for an estimated five to ten minutes before being rescued by a passenger. Once he was taken out of the water, the ship’s medical team resuscitated the boy. The ship returned to Port Everglades where firefighters and paramedics were standing by to provide emergency additional medical care while transporting the child to an area hospital.
Children wandering into cruise ship pools occurs regularly. The reasons why these accidents occur are largely because cruise lines are not strictly regulated and have decided not to follow logical protocols in regard to pool safety. Cruise lines do not have to follow many pool safety regulations that land-based resorts are required to follow. For example, land based hotels and spas must have fencing around the pool child proof gates. Cruise lines, on the other hand, are not required to have barriers to access cruise ship pools. This leaves the attractiveness of a pool wide open for a child who is separated from his or her parents to enter. Cruise lines could adopt the land based safety standards; however, they do not.