Norwegian Cruise Line announced it will employ certified lifeguards on some of its ships this summer and have them on every vessel by 2018, becoming only the 2nd major cruise line to do so.
The line’s 4 largest ships will be the first to have lifeguards stationed at family pools this summer. That includes Norwegian Epic based in Port Canaveral and Norwegian Escape and Norwegian Getaway out of PortMiami as well as Norwegian Breakaway in New York.
In February 2014, a four-year-old boy drowned aboard the Norwegian Breakaway that was embarking from New York to the Bahamas. The boy and his six-year-old brother were pulled from a pool unconscious, but the older boy was revived.
Royal Caribbean had a drowning incident last summer and Carnival as recent as 2013.
The first responders will be trained and certified by the American Red Cross in lifesaving rescue measures and will monitor the family pools during scheduled pool hours.
"Norwegian has stationed pool monitors on our largest ships since 2015 and we are now taking further steps to ensure the safety of our youngest guests with the addition of certified lifeguards across our fleet,” said Andy Stuart, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line.
“While parents are always the first line of supervision when it comes to water safety, we felt it was important to provide this added measure across our fleet."
Norwegian will also begin offering complimentary swim vests for both adults and children on the line's four largest ships. Parents can obtain the safety vests at the towel station on the ship's pool deck during daytime hours.
Disney Cruise Line employs certified lifeguards since 2013. RCI Royal Caribbean employs cruise ship lifeguards since February 2017 (by the line's "water safety program"). RCI's onboard lifeguards are dressed in special uniforms (bright red and white) and stationed at every onboard swimming pool, including the Solarium (adults-only retreat) during the complex' opening hours.