The U.S. Coast Guard has established no-boating zones on the Hudson River due to construction on the Tappan Zee Bridge, where an accident that killed two people and injured three others occurred in July. However, the area where boats will no longer be allowed does not include the actual area where the accident occurred.
On July 26, a bride-to-be and her groom’s best man were killed when the operator of their speedboat crashed into a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge. The families of the victims are claiming the poorly lit construction barge was the cause of the crash, but authorities are claiming the driver of the speedboat was intoxicated. Toxicology reports have not been released. The Thruway Authority added lights to the construction barge after the crash.
The newly regulated boating area on the river will include 300 yards north and 200 yards south of the existing bridge, according to Coast Guard officials. The Coast Guard claims the crash site is not included in the regulated areas because the construction vessels are stationary. However, in September, a 50-foot stationary barge broke loose from its mooring near the bridge and drifted for almost a mile, causing concerns for safety. Officials are still investigating how the barge broke loose, but do not believe it was deliberate.
With barges, it is important that the appropriate safety precautions are used to mark the barge, proper equipment to secure it and that the barge and its equipment are properly maintained. When a line breaks or moves improperly, crew aboard barges and their tug boats can be severely injured and even killed. If boat operators fail to maintain safe equipment or are negligent, injured workers may be able to file lawsuits for unseaworthiness and/or negligence. A competent maritime trial lawyer can help injured barge workers determine if they have the ability to sue for damages.
The maritime attorneys at Latti & Anderson LLP have a deep understanding of maritime law and the Jones Act and are dedicated to representing those injured on the job at sea. We understand the catastrophic injuries fishermen and crewmembers can suffer and the toll it can take financially on families. We have been representing clients nationwide that have been injured in barge accidents and other maritime accidents for over 50 years. Let us help you. Contact our barge accident attorneys today at (800) 392-6072 to schedule a consultation.
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