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New cruise boat death creates question of liability

Another cruise boat drowning tragedy has claimed the life of a child. A 10-year-old girl died on the deck of a Norwegian Cruise Line ship, the Norwegian Gem. The cruise boat was at sea, after leaving New York to go to the Bahamas and Florida on a seven-day adventure.

The incident happened off the coast of South Carolina on a recent Sunday afternoon. The ship's emergency medical team received an emergency call about a 10-year-old girl who was unresponsive on the pool deck. Although the team administered CPR and tried their best to resuscitate her, they were unsuccessful and the girl was pronounced dead on the ship.

Norwegian has since made a statement about the incident and expressed its deepest sympathies regarding the incident. The cruise line is giving its full support and assistance to the family during this very difficult time for them.

The sad fact is that this tragic drowning incident is not the only one in recent years to happen on board a cruise boat. Last year, in February, a 4-year-old boy from New York drowned on a different Norwegian cruise boat, called the Norwegian Breakaway. The boy's 6-year-old brother also nearly drowned, but the ship's medical team was able to revive him. Then, in October 2013, a drowning incident on board a Carnival Cruise ship, the Carnival Victoria, left a 6-year-old boy from Florida dead.

These drowning incidents beg the question: Why do cruise boats leave their pools unattended and without lifeguards? Considering that small children are playing, sometimes unattended on the boat deck, is it not dangerous and negligent to leave the pools without lifeguards to protect them? The drowning incidents definitely create questions of liability and concern over the safety conditions on board these giant floating hotels. Pennsylvania residents who are planning a cruise vacation should definitely keep their small children under close watch at all times.

Source: Yahoo! Travel, "After Another Child Drowns, Critics Ask: Why Don’t More Cruise Lines Have Lifeguards?," Sid Lipsey, May. 21, 2015

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