- Some of the incidents in the past few weeks have raised major safety concerns on cruise ships.
- CruiseJunkie.com has reported that 343 people have gone overboard since 2000, and extremely less compared to car crashes.
- CLIA conducts environmental and health inspections each year resulting in a decline in incidents.
Recent incidents on cruise ships, including the tragic death of a toddler, are a reminder that it’s important to stay safe at sea, says an article published in Forbes.
Travelling on an enormous cruise ship may safe at first glance, but there are inherent dangers when you’re floating on a vessel in the middle of the ocean.
The following incidents made headlines in the past weeks –
- The tragic death of an 18-month-old child who fell through an open window on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas on June 7.
- A woman who died after falling off an MSC Cruises ship on July 5.
- A Carnival Cruise Line crew member who went overboard on July 4.
These incidents have gathered significant concerns regarding the safety of Cruise industry.
Death of a toddler
In the case of toddler Chloe Wiegand’s death, the child’s grandfather is blamed to an extent, who lifted her onto a railing in front of what he thought was a closed window. But other critics are using this incident to imply the dangers of cruising.
According to the website CruiseJunkie.com, which tracks incidents on cruise ships and ferries, 343 people have gone overboard since 2000.
And yet, the odds of dying on a cruise ship are low, at roughly 1 in 6.25 million. Compare that to dying in a car crash, where the odds are about 1 in 645.
Cruise lines also take precautions to make sure that passengers stay safe.
Cruise Lines International Association
According to CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association), an average ship undergoes many safety, environmental and health inspections each year, and incidents have been on the decline.
Some lines like MSC Cruises have also installed high-tech man-overboard protection systems.
However, Wiegand’s death is a grave reminder that it’s important to be aware of safety while you’re on a cruise ship.
Safety precautions for kids and adults on board
- Children should be under close supervision at all times. The guardrails on most cruise ships are at least 42-inches high, which makes them a challenge for a young child to scale, but kids should definitely not climb them or sit on top. Being cautious is appreciated any time you’re near the edge of the ship.
- If your cruise line offers it, have your child wear a wristband equipped with an electronic tracking device, in case they go missing. Some lines like Disney Cruise Line offer this amenity for free while on-board, while others (MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean) charge a small fee.
- Be careful with kids in and around the pool. Disney was the first major cruise line to start employing lifeguards in 2013, and after several tragic drownings, a handful of other companies (Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line) have added lifeguards. But many people are surprised to learn that it’s not standard practice to have lifeguards at cruise ship pools. And it’s not just kids who should be careful: Adults have also died in drownings.
- Never run on cruise ship decks, which can be slippery if they get wet.
- For adults, it’s important to drink responsibly. Most passenger-overboard situations happen when someone is drunk.
- Practice safety while in your cabin. Make sure your door shuts behind you. Use the deadbolt, if available. Call room service instead of leaving an order hanging from your door, which will indicate the number of people in the room (particularly important if you’re a woman traveling alone). Look through your peephole before opening the door.
- On-board the ship, it’s never a good idea to go to a stranger’s room or to a crew member’s quarters.
- When it port, use trusted companies for excursions and don’t wander off alone.
- At any age, it’s a good idea to pay attention during the muster drill, in case a maritime emergency does occur. Parents should also teach young children how to get back to their cabin if they get lost on the ship.
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