The Sun-Sentinel, a Fort Lauderdale based newspaper, is reporting that the 4 year old boy that nearly drowned in a wave pool aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas cruise ship remains in critical condition at Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale. The young boy has been undergoing treatment at the hospital since being being found unresponsive at the bottom of a wave pool on the 15th deck of the Oasis of the Seas. The cruise ship had departed Port Everglades and had only been underway approximately one hour when the accident happened.
Cynthia Martinez, a spokeswoman for Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., confirmed that the 4-year old was from Italy and he was found in “one of the ship’s swimming pools.” The Oasis of the Seas can carry more than 6,000 passengers, along with another 2,300 crew members, making it the population size of many small cities. It is listed as having 4 pools on-board.
Many have wondered how a 4 year old boy could wander into a wave pool without being noticed when so many people are present on the cruise ship. However, a Cynthia Martinez, a Royal Caribbean cruise spokesperson stated “Royal Caribbean does not have lifeguards stationed at our pools”. She advised the Sun-Sentinel that “signs are always posted that warn passengers to swim at their own risk, similar to what you’d see at many hotels.” However, if the wave pool was located in a Florida water park, Florida law requires a lifeguard to be present during all operating hours.
Certified lifeguards are trained to spot an emergency within 20 seconds, and rescue the person within 30 seconds. Quick response times are critical to victims of pool drownings, and could have prevented the Oasis of the Seas accident.