The debate over whether cruise lines need lifeguards rages on after a four year old died aboard a ship earlier this year.

While most cruise lines boast about the number of pools and water activities available for youngsters, very few have stationed lifeguards to man them.

Disney Cruise Lines became the first major company to employ lifeguards when

the service was quietly introduced on board Disney Dream, Disney Wonder, Disney Fantasy and Disney Magic in September last year.

However, a recent study conducted by found cruise lines may benefit from stationing guards by their pools, with 80 percent of respondents stating that having a lifeguard would make them look more favorably on booking a cruise with that line.

Despite the majority favouring lifeguards. 98.63 percent of those surveyed said ultimately it is the parent’s responsibility to look after a child onboard and a further 76.71 percent thought a cruise line shouldn’t be responsible if an accident does occur.

Earlier this year, a Cruise Passenger reader said taking care of children starts with the parents and teaching them how to swim.

“There are adequate staff around and signs telling parents to supervise their children,” the reader explained.

“Unfortunately there is a minority who just let their children run wild, and this is the result.”

Meanwhile, another reader said she was in favour of fencing off pools and introducing a lifeguard service.

“Maybe they could pay lifeguards with the money that they pay the hundreds of staff walking around selling drinks by the pool,” the reader said.