Experienced National Maritime Attorney in Boston BLOG

Safety Improvements All Oil Barge Operators Should Make

Posted on February 8, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

Due to the fact more oil is produced and shipped out of the U.S. in these past few years, a recent concern was brought forth by the Congressional Research Service last month. The sudden change in how the nation ships oil has left little time to analyze the safety of oil barges and tankers. Currently, two facilities transport crude oil to other U.S. facilities by ship. The Anacortes, Washington oil refinery receives its oil from Alaska, while the Clatskanie, Oregon oil terminal receives crude oil from trains that pick up the oil from barges at the Columbia River. The report mainly lays blame with the U.S. Coast Guard: however, it is safe to say barge owners and operators are primarily responsible for workplace safety. Regulations on Barge Worker Safety Falls Short According to the report, oil barges used to transport oil by rivers are not held to the same safety…
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How Did Alaska Reduce the Number of Commercial Fishermen Deaths to Zero?

Posted on February 3, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

This month, the U.S. Coast Guard tallied up the numbers and it turns out Alaska made history. Last year is the first year that not a single commercial fisherman in the state died working at sea. While six commercial fishing boats sunk during this time period, every man on board was rescued. Between 1990 and 1998, 31 commercial fishermen died each year, on average. However, in the late 1980’s the number of fatal commercial fishermen accidents dropped to an average of 13 per year. The Alaska Department of Fishing and Game (ADF&G) recently published an article where they advocate commercial fishing in Alaska still has some risks, however, the state has made some changes that have obviously had major positive effects on fishermen safety. What Changes in Safety Did the State of Alaska Make to Reduce Fishermen Deaths? Since 1980, an average of 31 commercial fishermen died per year in…
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El Faro Update: Family Attorneys Try to Block Limited Liability Motion

Posted on February 1, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

Last October, 33 people lost their loves when the cargo ship, El Faro, sank off the coast of the Bahamas during a hurricane. Bangor Daily News called the tragedy the worst cargo shipping disaster since the 1980s. The vessel, owned by TOTE Maritime, had a history of substandard maintenance. As we’ve mentioned in previous blogs, the families who lost their loved ones filed lawsuits against TOTE for recklessly endangering the lives of the workers on board. TOTE responded by quickly slapping the families with a lawsuit for a Petition for Limitation of Liability. This meant, if the petition were a success, the families would receive very little in the amount of compensation because the petition would limit the amount paid to families to significantly less than they deserved. Families Fight the Limitation of Liability Lawsuit by Trying to Change the Law The petition filed under the Limited Liability Act of…
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These Boating Tips Could Save a Life

Posted on January 27, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

According to a report from the United States Coast Guard, more than 4,000 recreational boating accidents occur every year that kill more than 600 people, which does not include those who disappear. The disappearance of two boys, in particular, brought recent national attention to boating safety from both the public and lawmakers. The US Coast Guard recommends more boat operators take a boating education course to keep both themselves and their passengers safe. Captain with Years of Experience Provides Boating Tips A journalist from the Baltimore Sun recently interviewed a Captain, who has spent his life boating and fishing, about his thoughts on boating safety. The captain gave the following tips: When allowing passengers to board a boat of any size, it is important to review any and all safety items inside the boat. Make sure each passenger knows how a VHF radio and, if you have one, an Emergency…
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