A family vacation took a tragic turn when a 6 year old boy drowned in one of the pools aboard a Carnival Cruise Line ship while at sea. Qwentyn Hunter was playing with his 10 year old brother, when suddenly he began to drown. There was a cry for help and the DJ announced there was a child in the pool. Passengers dove in to save the boy and pulled him out of the 4 ½ foot deep pool. Passengers were the first to administer CPR until Carnival’s medical team arrived – Carnival does not have lifeguards on its ships.
Witnesses say the attempts to save Qwentyn’s life lasted around the 20 minute mark. It is also reported that one of the parents was at the pool when he drowned. Witnesses said it happened so fast, by the time they got to him it was too late. It is unknown how long he was underwater. There are currently no laws requiring cruise ships to post lifeguards at their pools.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips
Florida loses more children under the age of five to drowning than any other state. The unintentional drowning rate was so alarming, that the Office of Injury Prevention developed a campaign to raise awareness and educate the public on pool safety tips.
A few simple steps can make all of the difference:
• Choose designated swimming areas (preferably with lifeguards present).
• Do not allow little ones to swim alone. Avoid this even if it is at a lifeguard beach or public pool.
• Make sure children learn how to swim well at an early age – there are various organizations and programs throughout South Florida.
• Never walk away and leave a child unattended near water. If you leave someone to watch them, make sure it is another adult and not another child. Water that appears shallow is often deep.
• Explain the dangers to young children and teach them to always ask permission to go near water.
• Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear approved life jackets around water. Make it a point to also explain that having a life jacket on does not mean it is ok to be careless.
• Establish swimming rules for the family and make sure that you enforce them.
• Make sure to also set rules based on each individual person’s swimming ability. For example, a smaller child that may not know how to swim may have to stay on the steps of the pool, where others may not be able to cross a certain line or mark that goes into the deep side of the pool.
• Be careful walking by shorelines, lakes and rivers. Currents, temperatures and underwater hazards can make an accidental fall dangerous.
• If you are on a boat, please wear a life jacket. The majority of boating fatalities are drowning accidents.
Making the Pool Safer:
• Make sure to install barriers that enclose the entire pool area. They should at least be 4-feet high with gates that are self-enclosing, self-latching and open outward (away from the pool). The latches should be high enough so that small children cannot reach them.
• Move structures that can provide access to the pool. This can include outdoor furniture, decorative walls, playgrounds and climbable trees.
• If you have an inflatable pool, make sure to remove access ladders when it is not in use.
• Do not leave toys that are not in use in the pool. A toy can catch the attention of a young child and tempt them to reach for the toy.
In Case of Emergency:
• If a child is missing, check the water first. Getting there seconds earlier can prevent disability or death.
• Take a course on pool safety and learn CPR. It cost almost nothing and can be the difference between life and death.
Free Consultations Available for Swimming Accident Victims in Florida
A swimming pool accident and/or drowning can leave a family with a lot of questions. The Fort Lauderdale accident attorneys of Madalon Law would like to answer those questions at no cost. Our goal is to address concerns, explain how the law works and give the people a better understanding of their rights and options they may have. Speak to one of our accident attorneys today and get the answers you deserve.