Four Year Old Boy Drowns Onboard Norwegian Cruise Ship

Two young boys were pulled from a swimming pool aboard the Norwegian Cruise ship, Breakaway, and were listed as unresponsive on the pool deck. CPR was administered to both children, but only one was revived. The ship called the Coast Guard and the older child was airlifted to the hospital to be treated at a general hospital in North Carolina and reached a stable condition. Tragically, the younger child died onboard the ship. The ship was sailing toward Florida and was off the coast of North Carolina when the fatal incident occurred.

Several cruise lines dock in the Port of Seattle in Washington, and it is important to consider the safety risks associated with sailing on a cruise line vessel. This incident falls four months after a fatal drowning on the Carnival Cruise line ship, Victory, where a six year old boy drowned. That particular incident highlighted the absence of any laws or regulations that require lifeguards to be on duty at pools. The lone requirement is to place noticeable and obvious signs around the pools and water areas to alert passengers that there is no lifeguard.

In the last year, Disney Cruise Line has made a decision to add lifeguards to family pools on all four of its ships. These guards are on duty when the pool is open. The lifeguards also assist with all water-based recreation spaces, including the private island, water slides, and child splash zones. Disney Cruise Line was the first of the major cruise companies to initiate its own lifeguard program, and provides child-sized life vests to its passengers. So far, there has been no formal announcement or report by other cruise ship companies that their fleets have or will have life guards on duty at water-based recreation areas.

Under maritime law, an injured passenger may pursue a claim if they can show that the ship owner failed to fulfill their duties under the law toward their guests. Cruise lines are negligent when they fail to use reasonable care under the circumstances, which is determined by the unique circumstances around maritime travel. The care that must be shown shifts with the amount of danger involved to the passenger and is measured against the difference between maritime travel and daily life. If negligence is found by the fact finder, then the injured passenger may receive damages that may include lost wages, medical expenses, and money for future medical care.

The Washington cruise ship attorneys, Gordon Webb and John Merriam, have several years of experience litigating and negotiating personal injury accidents that happen onboard cruise vessels. They thoroughly know the timelines imposed by cruise ship contracts, and will work efficiently and effectively to pursue your claim. With over 50 years of combined experience, both lawyers will work tirelessly to maximize the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured or have had a family member injured while onboard a cruise ship, contact our office today for a free, confidential consultation today at 877.800.1007.

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