Boats are Not the Only Maritime Danger

While boats are the obvious source of maritime risk, they are not the only source. Many people can be unprepared to hear that a helicopter can be a maritime risk. However, they are frequently used to transport workers to and from offshore drilling stations. An incident earlier this year proves that they can be just as deadly to maritime workers ad boats can.

The incident took place in October and left one person dead and three others badly injured. While it is still being investigated as to the cause, it is more than probable that company issues such as malfunctioning equipment or inappropriate training may have cause the crash. If this is the case, the company will need to be held accountable for the injuries sustained by its workers. While this won’t immediately cure them or bring back the man who was lost, it can improve conditions for workers in the future.

When companies are called out on poor safety policies, they frequently change them, either by choice or due to being required by the government. By raising injury claims or by families demanding compensation for lost loved ones, such cases can actually help change legislation or at least bring recognition to an issue that the government and the company may not have even realized was a safety hazard.

Kirkendall Dwyer LLP is on hand with a Texas maritime lawyer ready to handle any injuries suffered on platforms or through other company negligence. If you or a loved one has had to suffer due to unsafe offshore conditions, do so no more. Instead, fight these conditions with both court cases and legislation. Only by using these legal tools can change truly be effected and the injured parties properly compensated for the hardship they have endured.

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NTSB Member Testified About Maritime Transportation Safety Issues

NTSB member Mark Rosekind testified in October before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on coast guard and maritime transportation safety issues. The USCG and NTSB work together closely to evaluate maritime accidents that meet the criteria for review. The NTSB takes the lead on investigations of accidents with major marine casualties. It will determine the facts and circumstances of the event and will determine what likely caused the accident.

In some instances, the USCG may lead the investigation with support from the NTSB. Additionally, the NTSB oversees and investigates all major marine casualties that happen during the year, which is typically about 30 to 35 occurrences. It is clear that the two agencies are planning to work together to support each other as they move forward in the review of maritime incidents.

One of the main areas of concern is safety for large passenger vessels. This is becoming more important after the Costa Concordia accident in 2011. After that accident there have been several well-publicized incidents of power loss and fires aboard large passenger cruise ships. These incidents are under investigation by the USCG. Incidents that happen in international waters are still investigated by the USCG with help from the NTSB as needed.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has representatives from many countries. The U.S. official representative to the IMO is the USCG. Other countries that have representatives include the UK, Japan, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Ireland, and Finland among others.

Maritime safety is certainly an important issue. A Texas maritime attorney is experienced in all maritime matters and will review any case to determine how to proceed. Every case is different so it’s important to have an experienced Texas maritime attorney look at the accident. These accidents can be complex and require a Texas maritime attorney with a strong knowledge of the maritime laws and how they apply to your situation.


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Two Barges Collide with Bridges in Arkansas

In late August, 2 barges were accidentally set free from a tugboat and drifted down the Arkansas River in Little Rock, eventually crashing into a pedestrian bridge and the Interstate 30 bridge.  The bridges were shut down in order to assess their stability and safety, but were shortly thereafter reopened.

Similar collisions have led to tragic results in the past.  In May of 2002, a barge struck a bridge, a piece of which later collapsed, killing 14 people.  Authorities inspected the bridges that were struck in this instance, but deemed them safe enough to travel.

Bridges are only inspected ever 2 years, more frequently if the need arises.  Many bridges in the area have protection systems designed to protect the integrity of the bridge in case of a collision such as this one.

Have you been injured in a barge accident?  If so, contact the offshore accident attorneys at Kirkendall Dwyer LLP.  There are innumerable ways in which barge accidents can occur.  From collisions with subsequent consequences as in this case, to more common accidents in which a worker is thrown from a barge or injured while employed aboard a barge.  Our attorneys can provide immediate help.  Contact us today.

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