In another sad story, an eight year old boy has drowned aboard Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas cruise ship.

The drowning occurred while the ship was at sea yesterday, Dec. 21.  The boy was noticed and pulled from ship’s pool by another passenger, at which point medical teams began CPR.

“Our medical team quickly responded and performed CPR for over 60 minutes,” Royal Caribbean shared in a statement. Extended efforts to revive the boy were unsuccessful.

This unfortunate loss would likely have been prevented if the cruise line had employed a lifeguard to watch over children in its cruise ship pools.  However, with the exception of Disney Cruise Line, all other major cruise lines refuse to post lifeguards at their pools.  Instead, they rely solely on posted “swim at your own risk” warnings to deflect any responsibility.  Such warnings clearly have not been effective, given the repeated incidents of child drownings and near drownings in recent years.

Parents obviously have their own responsibility to be vigilant and keep a constant watch over their children, especially when they are young and playing in a pool.  However, it only takes seconds for a drowning to occur, and parents could easily be distracted with something as simple as placing a drink order poolside.  Knowing that such distractions could occur, the cruise lines should also take responsibility for protecting their young passengers from accidental drownings.

Cruise lines have been actively marketing their cruises to families with children and reap substantial revenues from attracting families aboard their ships.   It’s time they also take responsibility to keep all aboard their ships safe.