Royal Caribbean is currently advertising for lifeguards to man the pools on Ovation of the Seas.
After a number of drownings on the Miami-based cruise company’s ships, the line has taken steps to protect passengers from any more incidents.
Last year, an eight-year-old child died in June aboard Anthem of the Seas after he was found unresponsive in a pool and in December 2015, another eight-year-old died aboard Liberty of the Seas.
Ovation of the Seas which sails in Australia and Asia has the capacity to accommodate close to 5,000 passengers, making her the fourth largest cruise ship in the world. And being a family-friendly ship, there are many children onboard.
While there are a number of drownings on multiple cruise ships every year, Disney Cruise Line is the only company to employ lifeguards on its ships.
The job posting appears on a Star Guard Elite, a website for employing lifeguards outlines the position with a description which says that the lifeguard “will need to perform rescue of guests in danger of drowning and be vigilant to potential accidents. Will be trained to administer first aid, CPR, Oxygen & AED as required. This position will open, close, monitor and operate aquatic recreational spaces including but not limited to Swimming Pools, H20 Zones/Splashaway Bay and other designated water attractions.”
The decision to hire lifeguards is a stark departure from Royal Caribbean’s corporate stance on poolside safety, which a spokesperson in Miami told the New Times last year. Cynthia Martinez said it was up to the parents and caregivers to look after children in the pool.
“Signs are always posted that warn passengers to swim at their own risk, similar to what is found at many hotels,” Ms Martinez said in a statement at the time.
“We have provided our fleet with children’s lifejackets available at the pool area as an added safety precaution. We still strongly recommend that children not be in the pool area unsupervised.”
Cruise Passenger has contacted Royal Caribbean Australia for a comment.
Read more about Ovation of the Seas here.