Category Archives: General Law

Our maritime lawyers practice general law, personal injury and admiralty law for workers and boat passengers hurt at sea.

The U.S. Coast Guard Rescues Man in an Inflatable Bubble—Again!

The U.S. Coast Guard had an interesting run-in in 2014 with a man running in an inflatable bubble just off the coast of Miami, Florida. The vessel, which the Coast Guard has named a “HydroPod,” resembles more of a hamster wheel with a transparent plastic bubble in the middle and is made to run on water. The “operator” of the bubble is an Iranian-born endurance runner. Once he made it to the 70-mile point off the beach, the Coast Guard monitored his position until they eventually made a move to rescue him. The rescue voyage cost American tax payers roughly $144,000. In spite of this, the runner took the rescue in stride, promising to perfect the bubble and take it out on another journey, this time with a sign that reads “Please don’t burst my bubble!” The Coast Guard remained unamused by the pun and issued an official letter to…
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Did Fuel Sediment Clog the El Faro’s Engine?

On Monday, we discussed the sinking of the El Faro cargo ship off the coast of the Bahamas, with 33 crewmembers on board and who are believed to have died. As we noted, lawsuits are being filed in connection to the alleged sinking, with family members claiming negligence on the part of operator TOTE Maritime. Claims say the vessel should not have been operated during the rough weather offered by Hurricane Joaquin. With this in mind, the South Florida Sun Sentinel spoke to one expert who said he believes that rough seas caused by the hurricane may have dredged up sediment at the bottom of the vessel’s fuel tank, clogging up its engine filters, forcing them to shut down. “The sediment is common in large ships and gets so thick that it’s like sludge,” Terry Pope, a yacht captain for more than 40 years, told the newspaper. “The result is…
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The Danger of Vessel Fires and Smoke Inhalation

Recently, the U.S. Coast Guard had to rescue a crewmember from a boat near the Texas coast after he reportedly suffered from smoke inhalation. According to Professional Mariner, the Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston received a call on August 20 from the crew of the 50-foot towing vessel Kennedy Grace, which was towing the motor vessel Miss Geri, which caught fire. A crewmember aboard the vessel that was being towed reportedly suffered smoke inhalation and had chest pains following the fire. After the Coast Guard sent a rescue boat out to secure the man, he was transported to a local hospital in Galveston for treatment. The other crewmembers aboard the Miss Geri were able to abandon the vessel and board the larger Kennedy Grace after the incident. Local fireboat crews had to respond to the incident to assist in putting out the fire aboard the vessel. It remains unclear how the…
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