Thoughts on Royal Caribbean Near-Drowning

It’s never easy to write about a tragedy. It’s even harder when something awful happen at a place or during a time which should be filled with fun and laughter, such as a family vacation. And when the horrific events involve harm coming to a child… it’s almost more than we can bear. Such was the case as news spread that an 8-year-old boy was in critical condition after being found unconscious in a pool aboard Royal Caribbean’s Anthem of the Seas and airlifted to a Staten Island hospital in critical condition.

More Questions Than Answers

Few details are known about the incident, and what is known does little to answer questions as to how the tragedy unfolded.

It was reported that the child, Prince Adepoju, from Maryland, was traveling with a large group, which is why even after he and his immediately family were taken off the ship, the decision was made that Anthem would return to its homeport in Bayonne, New Jersey.

With details scarce, coverage and commentary tended to focus on two angles: The troubled history of the ship itself and, as always happens in cases such as this, finger-pointing. Who was to blame? Should cruise lines be made to have life guards on duty? Where were the parents at the time of the incident?

What Really Matters

When answers aren’t known, human nature is to speculate. We attempt to rationalize as best we can, and this often takes the form of accusations and recriminations. We need someone to blame for what we can’t understand. It’s just how we’re wired.

Peruse any message board in the wake of this or past, similar tragedies, and you’ll easily find examples of this behavior. “How could this have happened?” people rail, their fingers angrily pounding keyboards, their frustration and anger seeking release in public forums, which might well be considered the modern equivalent of screaming one’s frustration into a pillow. If we don’t vent, we will explode.

Don’t Point Fingers

But perhaps what we should really do is take a moment to think about the people involved. Each time we ask, “Where were the parents?” we are, whether intentionally or not, hurtling poison darts at a family which already is in unimaginable pain. It is easy to imagine them sitting by their child’s bedside, asking themselves these same questions. “How did this happen?” And any parent who has ever dealt with a severely sick or injured child knows that, whether the blame falls upon them or not, they will take it. It is what a parent does. “What could I have done differently to keep my child out of harm’s way?”

With that in mind, we here at Cruise Radio ask that you keep the family of the injured child in your thoughts and prayers. Perhaps more answers about how and why this horrific incident came to pass will be revealed in the days and weeks ahead, but for now, with so much unknown, the best thing we can do is – hokey as it may sound – send as much positive energy as possible toward this family as they deal with a pain we can only hope to never experience.

photo credit: Captain Martini/flickr

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