Experienced National Maritime Attorney in Boston BLOG

Maine Lobsterman Dies After Falling Overboard

Posted on August 22, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

A Maine lobsterman died this month after falling off a boat near Jonesport. The lobster boat crewmembers contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, but the lobsterman was dead by the time they arrived in spite of CPR attempts. The lobsterman left a wife and a young son behind. Falling Overboard is a Leading Cause of Maritime Accidents According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 210 reported fatal falls overboard in the U.S. between 2000 and 2014. None of the victims were wearing personal floatation devices. Approximately 53 percent of these deaths occurred when fall was unwitnessed by other crewmembers. That said, crewmembers should avoid working alone at all times. Falling overboard does not just entail falling into open sea. Maritime workers have also been known to fall between vessels and barges while loading cargo or handling fishing gear. Commercial fishermen are particularly susceptible if safety precautions…
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Was the Tugboat Accident Near the Tappan Zee Bridge Avoidable?

Posted on August 17, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

In previous blogs, we wrote about the tragedy near the Tappan Zee Bridge that claimed the lives of three workers. Three tugboats were pushing a barge across the Hudson River when one of the tugs hit a construction barge and sank with three crewmembers still trapped inside. It took months to recover all three bodies. As the local police have continued investigating the incident, new details have come to light that indicate this tugboat accident might have been avoided. Police have discovered that a captain of one of the other two tugboats that did not crash into the construction barge was possibly below deck with a woman. One of the three captains covered for the distracted captain and left his mate-in-charge at the helm. The Tappan Zee Bridge fatal tugboat accident happened on the mate-in-charge’s watch. If one of the captains had not been otherwise distracted while on duty, it’s…
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What If an Employer Refuses to Pay Maintenance and Cure After a Fishing Accident?

Posted on August 15, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

A commercial fisherman was tying lines on a boat when he became trapped in marsh wetlands. He struggled and injured his legs and knees while trying to get free. The Captain left him in the wetlands and continued on course, essentially abandoning the fisherman to struggle and exacerbate his injuries. The worst part is the negligent vessel owner refused to pay the injured fisherman maintenance and cure benefits while the worker was recovering from his injuries. So, the injured fisherman was utterly alone and left with both his living expenses as well as his medical expenses while unable to work. What is Maintenance and Cure? Maintenance and cure is a law established in the 1800’s that required ship owners to care for ill or injured seamen who worked on their vessel. This law is still in effect to this day, and it is a necessary solution for seamen who are…
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What are the Most Common Types of Injuries to Vessel Cooks and Stewards?

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Latti & Anderson

It’s easy to think most maritime accidents only involve commercial fishermen, longshoremen and deckhands. However, vessel cooks and stewards are also susceptible to injuries at sea. Vessel cooks are necessary on smaller vessels, such as tugboats, as well as larger vessels, like yachts or cruise ships. Vessel stewards are also necessary to perform housekeeping duties and even operate machinery. Due to the fact so much attention is attributed to what many consider the “high-risk” jobs of the industry, vessel cooks and stewards can be overlooked when a maritime accident occurs. However, most cooks and stewards are still protected under the Jones Act. Vessel Operators Must Provide a Safe Environment for Vessel Cooks and Stewards All owners and operators of vessels must ensure that a safe work environment is provided for all crewmembers. However, not all owners do so. Vessel cooks and stewards may be put at risk for the following:…
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