Recently, a passenger aboard a Disney cruise apparently drowned while swimming at Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island. According to news reports, the 38-year old man from New York was a passenger aboard the Disney Wonder. The ship was moored at Castaway Cay as part of the five night cruise to the Bahamas that departed from Miami. Disney’s private island is located in the northern Bahamas. Thus far, the details of the drowning have not been released. An autopsy is being performed on the victim to confirm the suspected manner of death.
Disney recently paid a multi-million dollar settlement to the family of a young child who nearly drowned while aboard the Disney Fantasy, which did not have lifeguards. In response to the case, Disney now trains over 1,200 lifeguards a year to protect children and other individuals in pools and at the private islands. Disney requires its lifeguards complete a 24-hour basic training and water skills test, including learning CPR. After completing training, lifeguards must perform four hours of in service training each month and eight hours of recertification each year. Disney does have lifeguards in place at its private island, at least in areas where children swim. It is unclear where the victim was swimming at the time of his death or whether lifeguards were present.
Tragically, just days after the death of the 38-year old New Yorker, a second passenger died while vacationing on a Disney cruise to the Bahamas. A 56-year old American was discovered unresponsive at the Castaway Cay beach. The victim was wearing snorkeling gear and a vest. A lifeguard found the individual and brought him ashore. They provided lifesaving measures and the victim was transported to a hospital in Miami.
Just two months before these terrible adult drownings at sea, a four year old boy nearly drowned on a Royal Caribbean ship, the Oasis of the Seas. The child’s mother frantically alerted the ship’s authorities as to her son’s disappearance. A guest spotted the child underwater in a wave pool, where it is estimated he remained in the water for at least six minutes. The child was plucked from the pool and resuscitated by bystanders until the medical staff arrived and rook over CPR.
Royal Caribbean, unlike Disney, does not have lifeguards stationed at their pools and accidents like this one cause many to question the safety of this practice with so many children aboard.
These three recent drowning incidences highlight the potential dangers that cruise ship passengers face. Anyone who has been injured or lost a loved one due to a cruise ship accident should contact an attorney as soon as possible to protect their legal rights.
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Cruises are supposed to be a time of fun and relaxation. When a cruise goes terribly wrong and you are injured, you need the assistance of an experienced cruise ship accident attorney. The Miami Cruise Ship Accident attorneys at the law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have assisted in a number of high profile cruise ship accident cases. Our attorneys have over 130 years of collective experience and will zealously fight for your full recovery following a cruise related incident. Our unmatched professional excellence has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and acknowledgement as one of South Florida’s top-rated firms by the Miami Herald. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule an appointment so that we can begin fighting for your recovery.