An image that appears to show two children in a perilous situation on a cruise ship has many social media users astounded at one detail.
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The pair can be seen sitting on the railing of a balcony on the vessel, with their parents not visible in their vicinity. The children, who appear to be boys approaching their teenage years, have their legs dangling over the edge of the railing.
While it’s not yet been confirmed which ship the children were on board at the time the image was taken, it’s believed it may have been a Royal Carribbean vessel.
The photograph was shared on Facebook by the group Carnival Cruise Line Miami Blog along with the caption: “Where are the parents?”.
It has raised fresh concerns over cruise safety.
While the children’s identities remain unknown, cruis egoer Robert Dempster said he was travelling on a separate ship close to the youngsters when he saw a passenger on his boat snap the image.
“This was taken a week ago today at CocoCay,” Dempster said. “The kids were on Serenade of the Seas and the photo was taken from someone on the cruise I was on, on Oasis of the Seas.
“Unbelievable, but thank goodness it didn’t end in disaster!”
When contacted by news.com.au for comment, a Royal Caribbean spokesperson said that guest safety is of top importance to the company and all passengers must abide by their guest conduct policy.
“The safety of our guests and crew is our upmost priority at Royal Caribbean International,” the spokesperson said.
“To ensure the safety of everyone on board we have a guest conduct policy that all guests must adhere to. We remind all guests of this policy, and we take any violations to this policy very seriously.”
According to Royal Caribbean’s conduct policy: “Sitting, standing, laying or climbing on, over or across any exterior or interior railings or other protective barriers, or tampering with ship’s equipment, facilities or systems designed for guest safety is not permitted.”
For those who fail to adhere to the rules, there can be “law enforcement” or “removal from a ship at the next port of call”.
Commenters on the Facebook post were shocked to see the children in the photo taking such risks.
“I’m freaking out just looking at this photo,” one wrote.
While another said: “Them and their parents should be banned for all cruise ships.”
And a third commented: “Holy moly! My anxiety just went out of control seeing this”.
And it got even worse for this person: “This makes me sick to my stomach. I hope someone got them down quickly.”
Meanwhile, others said: “insane, where are their parents”, “unbelievable” and “shocking”.
Unfortunately guests have taken safety risks many times before. In 2019, a woman was banned for life by Royal Caribbean after she climbed over her balcony railing to pose for a photo in her swimsuit. Peter Blosic was also on the Allure of the Seas on a Caribbean cruise when he saw the woman on the starboard (right) side of the ship.
He posted a picture of her with her hands above her head, appearing to pose for a camera behind her.
“Just witnessed this on Allure. What an absolute idiot,” he wrote.
“You cannot fall off of a ship unless you are acting like a moron!”
A number of passengers have fallen to their deaths over the years, including a teenager who fell to his death after climbing from an eighth floor balcony because he didn’t have his room card.
And a male passenger fell overboard while travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania in May this year. The tragedy came just days after Brisbane man Warwick Tollemache, 35, fell overboard while on a Royal Caribbean ship bound for Hawaii.
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