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Lifeguards coming to swimming pools aboard Norwegian cruise ships

Cruise lines are definitely getting the message about upping the safety factor at swimming pools. Norwegian Cruise Line is the latest company to jump in and add certified lifeguards to their ships.

Lifeguards with American Red Cross certification will be on duty at family pools across Norwegian’s 14-ship fleet starting this summer, according to an announcement Thursday.

The line’s four biggest ships — Escape, Getaway, Breakaway and Epic — will be first to post uniformed lifeguards on board. Others will be added to all Norwegian ships by early 2018.

Norwegian’s president Andy Stuart said in the statement: “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."

In addition, Norwegian will offer free swim vests to adults and children on the line's four mega-ships.

Royal Caribbean International in February announced its plan to post certified lifeguards in red and white uniforms on all its ships by mid June, Cruise Critic reports. The line also plans to provide water-safety drills for parents and kids during embarkation.

Disney Cruise Line was first to adopt lifeguards in 2013 after a 4-year-old nearly drowned and suffered serious injury aboard the Disney Fantasy.

The Miami Herald reports at least a dozen people have drowned or nearly drowned on cruise ships in the last several years. Pool-related fatalities have occurred on Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and Disney ships.

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