In recent years, we have seen too many accidental drownings aboard cruise ships. For decades, cruise ships have adopted a ‘swim-at-your-own-risk’ policy as an industry standard. But now cruise lines, are taking further steps to ensure the safety of its guests by adding certified lifeguards to their fleet. That being said, when conducting training on a cruise line like this, there are certain things to keep in mind that can help create a better training experience for everyone.
Crew members participating in a lifeguard training program put in ten hour days over a three-day period. The training consisted of both classroom sessions, as well as in-water sessions that take place on-shore The classroom sessions cover a variety of swim safety information and topics, while the in-water sessions deal with actual procedures and drills the lifeguard team would need to conduct on the job. Working with small classes of 5-10 participants ensures that individual attention can be given to each staff member. Lifeguards can mean the difference between life and death for some cruise-goers, so it’s important that they get personalized, proper training. Cruise ships tend to attract international travelers And this is no different for cruise staff.. There will likely be language and cultural barriers to overcome when facilitating training on a cruise ship. Be prepared to spend extra time simplifying concepts, and ensuring that all information is comprehended. Speaking slowly and clearly while avoiding cultural idioms can help as well. Ultimately, patience is key. With these strategies, your participants may surprise you with their skills and ability to function as a team.
Conducting lifeguard training on a cruise liner varies greatly from training on-land in the typical pool or water park environment. However, you will need to alter the training to address some of the differences and challenges associated with lifeguarding on a cruise ship. For example, consult with international maritime law experts to ensure you are providing the most accurate information regarding standard operating procedures, including legal considerations, facility management and safety. This approach allows the instructors to be more knowledgeable and provide information that is more applicable to cruise line lifeguarding classes.
Due to the large number of people aboard the vessel every day, a cruise ship can be an unpredictable place. Allowing for flexibility in your training is essential. Instructors should be able to adapt the classroom and pool schedule for any last-minute challenges. At times, management of the ship may be conducting their first shakedown cruise. This requires altering the schedule to allow more time at the pool When time permits.
The American Red Cross Lifeguarding program remains the gold standard in lifeguard training even on the high seas. It offers a great educational experience while simultaneously meeting the requirements for the course.