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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Spain Oil Disaster Crew Acquitted

A judge in Madrid has acquitted the crew members as well as a major official, of causing a large oil spill off the coast of Spain in 2002. While the crew was cleared of charges, the captain of the oil tanker was sentenced to 9 months in prison. The captain was found guilty of trying to stop the wreck from being towed before the oil spilled.

The oil tanker was wrecked due to a storm. Afterwards, the tanker lost its oil, creating a massive oil slick. The ship actually broke apart which caused it to unload more than 60,000 tons of fuel into the sea. The spill coated beaches in France, Spain, and Portugal with thick, black oil. The oil also accounted for killing tens of thousands of sea birds. After the incident, hundreds of thousands of volunteers turned out to help with cleaning the beaches.

According to reports, the tanker may have had structural damage before it left to sea. The captain was sentenced because he failed to comply with Spanish officials who ordered him to tow the tanker out to sea to reduce the possible environmental hazards.

Every country has maritime laws in place; many of the maritime laws are universal. In cases such as this, or where any injuries have occurred, the victims should discuss the accident with an experienced Pasadena maritime attorney. A maritime lawyer specializes in handling these types of accidents and has the experience and expertise to successfully resolve serious matters and protect your rights.

Offshore workers have rights. One of the most important of these rights is to seek legal assistance in the event they suffer an injury. Any time an injury occurs it is important to talk to a legal team, such as a Pasadena maritime attorney. The best time to talk to an attorney is as soon as the incident happens. Talk to a Pasadena maritime attorney to learn more about your rights.

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Numerous Accidents Reported after Typhoon

As expected, the Philippine Coast Guard has been receiving many reports of maritime accidents since the typhoon hit. The typhoon is considered to be one of the most powerful storms ever known to man so it is no wonder that many ships were impacted as a result. High winds create huge waves which can cause even some of the most seaworthy vessels to become damaged or disabled.

Unfortunately, when a ship goes down at sea there are often no survivors. This is especially true when there is a major storm in the area. A small lifeboat or life preservers or vests are no match for the powerful waves and wind that the typhoon produced.

Thus far, 13 maritime accidents have been reported to the coast guard. However, many more are likely expected. If entire ships went down with no survivors, it could take weeks or longer to learn of the accident. One of the worst accidents reported so far is the Andrea Princess, a cargo ship. It was taking shelter as best it could in Ando Island when the typhoon hit. The rough seas caused it to drift and eventually run aground. Of the crew members aboard, 2 have died, 5 are missing, and 15 have been saved.

The full extent of the disaster has not yet been realized. Many ships sunk, and many more drifted until they came to shore. Piles of debris including many ships must be gone through. It is likely that there were many maritime fatalities that are not yet known. While the typhoon was a natural disaster, many maritime accidents are the result of negligence. A Texas City personal injury attorney has experience dealing with all types of maritime accidents and injuries.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to compensation. Speak to a Texas City personal injury attorney to learn what you should do after an accident occurs. Your attorney will answer any questions you may have and guide you through the legal process. It’s best to call a Texas City personal injury attorney as soon after the injury occurs as possible.

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Types of Maritme Accidents

There are many types of maritime accidents. Of these, the most dangerous, and the type with the most potential for injuries or death, is a collision at sea. There are a number of different ways a collision can take place. All of them present hazardous conditions for those aboard the vessels. Serious accidents, with injuries, can occur quickly. A victim of such an accident will want to discuss it with an experienced maritime injury lawyer.

Bow-On: This type of collision occurs when two ships collide front to front. It can be compared to a head-on collision in a vehicle. In many cases, the bow-on accident may be caused by an inability to brake or slow the vessel. Maritime rules call for vessels that are approaching each other in this manner to pass to the starboard, so both ships avoid a collision course. Failure to take action is almost always attributed to human error.

Stern Collisions: This type of accident happens when one vessel hits another near the rear. This can cause extensive damage. Stern collisions are most likely to happen when passing another vessel. Maritime rules provide that a vessel that is being passed should stay out of the way of the other vessel. It is possible to run into the other vessel, which is commonly caused by crew members who are not paying attention.

Side Collisions: A side collision is similar to a T-bone accident in a vehicle. One vessel crashes into the side of another vessel. Sometimes an accident of this type could be caused by adverse weather conditions such as strong winds or waves that make it difficult to gain control of the vessel.

Allison Accidents: These are accidents that occur when a moving vessel runs into a stationary object. A common Allison accident may happen when a vessel hits a bridge or seawall. In cases such as this, the moving vessel is presumed to be at fault.  These accidents, while often close to shore, can be dangerous to both crew members and passengers. Talk to a maritime injury lawyer to learn what steps to take if you have been injured.

Maritime accidents can be hazardous and can result in injuries or death. If you or a loved one has been injured in this type of accident, contact a maritime injury lawyer as soon as possible.

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Search Suspended for Missing Oilfield Worker

The United States Coast Guard has suspended its search for a worker missing from an offshore oilfield supply boat. The USCG has been searching for the man for 3 days in an area covering 2,734 square nautical miles in the Gulf of Mexico. During the 3-day search there were 12 separate search missions. They deployed many helicopters, cutters, and aircraft to aid in the search efforts, but they turned up empty.

The missing man, whose name has not been released, reportedly fell overboard off the Dustin Danos, a ship operated by Gulf Offshore Logistics. The man was reported overboard on Saturday, November 9, about 60 miles southwest of Port Fourchon. The company has not responded to requests for comments on the incident.

In a separate incident just two weeks ago, another oilfield worker was lost in the water. The man worked for Offshore Specialty Fabricators and fell from a platform about 75 miles southeast of Lake Charles. The man’s body was recovered the next day by divers. The man was part of a company that was contracted to dismantle that particular platform because it was no longer in use.

According to reports, the man in that accident was knocked off the platform by an empty storage tank that also fell into the water. The man’s body was found pinned under the tank, about 100 feet under the water. The USCG reported that there was no oil spill due to the accident because the tank was no longer in use and was plugged.

Accidents such as these require consultation with an experienced Houston maritime lawyer. The attorney will review the details of the accident and work with the family to take appropriate legal action. A Houston maritime lawyer will explain the Jones Act and review the maritime laws that apply in the situation. Contact a Houston maritime lawyer to determine your options.

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