Do deaths on ships deter you from traveling with a particular cruise line? Periodically you hear stories about drownings, people falling off balconies, and people falling down stairs causing death or serious injury. I take these with a grain of salt and they don't deter me from cruising. However, one story I heard (on a ship I am going on shortly) really gave me pause and got me thinking about cruising, parenting, and looking out for your fellow cruisers.
Some may have heard that this week a child (4 years old from what I heard) drowned on the NCL Breakaway. The boy and his brother were rescued from the adult pool (yes, that is a different can of worms). The brother (6 years old) was airlifted to the nearest hospital and as far as I know is recovering. The younger passed away on the ship.
Blame is all over the place. Many are blaming the cruise line for not having lifeguards (they should), most are blaming the parents/guardians for not watching them closely enough (they should), and some are placing the blame on staff that do not enforce rules on the ship (they should). Accidents happen and from the circumstances I read on the NCL facebook page, no one was being negligent or anything. Rather than blame anyone specifically, cruisers and cruise companies should all look at what we can do to prevent such a thing from happening again.
I implore anyone traveling with children to be sure to watch your children very very VERY carefully. Also, know the signs of drowning and learn at least some basic CPR. See this article for a related article. http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/family/2013/06/rescuing_drowning_children_how_to_know_when_someone_is_in_trouble_in_the.html
Anyone not traveling with children, please keep an eye out for other people's children (not your job, I know) and don't be afraid to speak up. If you see a kid doing something dangerous, tell a staff member. If you see a couple of kids unattended in a pool, tell a staff member. And of course if you see someone drowning, tell a staff member!
Accidents do happen, even to the most vigilant of parents and even when life guards are on site. Please be careful and let's all look out for each other!