Category Archives: Jones Act

Jones Act attorneys represent commercial fishermen and merchant seamen needing maintenance and cure after an injury at sea.

How Does the Jones Act Protect American Maritime Workers?

The Jones Act has recently come under fire as businesses, oil refiners and think tanks push for repeal of the law in upcoming sessions. However, the Jones Act does more than just provide a cause of action for workers harmed by their employers – it protects American jobs. How Does the Jones Act Protect American Jobs? “The Jones Act is a jobs act, pure and simple,” Senator Mary Landrieu of the Senate Energy and Resources Committee said. This nearly 100-year-old law also requires all vessels shipping cargo between two US locations to be US built, majority US-owned and at least 75 percent crewed by US citizens. “Waiving the Jones Act,” she warns, “literally hands over work to foreign shippers.” Despite limited support for weakening the Jones Act on Capitol Hill, petroleum marketers and refiners are planning a substantial effort to get Congress to change the law. They claim that the…
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Does Weather Play a Part in Maritime Safety?

A tugboat captain whose barges collided with a cargo freighter in Texas said the larger vessel “increased its speed in foggy conditions,” making it impossible to avoid the crash. There were no injuries in the accident, but authorities thoroughly examined the evidence during a weeklong hearing, since nearly 170,000 gallons of oil spilled into the water. Associated Press reports that oil was found for at least 200 miles along the coastline. As the larger boat’s speed kept growing, Capt. Kelli Hartman said all she could think was “Oh no, this ain’t looking good.” Hartman, with over thirty years of experience on the water, added: “I did everything I could to get out of his way.” The accident slowed traffic for five days along the Houston Ship Channel, which serves the nation’s largest petrochemical complex. Both captains denied fault in the incident; the hearing was intended to determine exactly what transpired…
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Tug-Barge Crewman Killed During Conveyor-Belt Maintenance

According to Professional Mariner magazine, a member of an articulated tug-barge (ATB) crew was killed while conducting conveyor-belt maintenance. The accident happened south of Ludington on Lake Michigan as a tugboat was guiding a barge from Muskegon to Charlevoix. The 37-year-old crewman was performing mechanical maintenance on the barge when he became entangled in the conveyor belt. “The captain of the ATB radioed the Coast Guard at about 1150 that a crewman had died as the result of an accident on deck,” said Lt. Maria Wiener, a spokesperson for U.S. Coast Guard Sector Lake Michigan. The 37 year old had worked for Pere Marquette Shipping of Ludington, the company that owned the ATB, since 2006 and had served as an equipment mechanic for four years. The Coast Guard and Pere Marquette Shipping declined to comment on the cause of the incident due to an ongoing investigation. Are Barge Conveyor Belts…
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