Are Groundings of Massive Freighters Inevitable or Avoidable?
Many cargo ship accidents are preventable, when ship owners follow proper safety precautions and properly train their crews in safety regulations. Injuries and wrongful deaths are often prevented on vessels with sufficient staffing, proper maintenance and safety training.
Earlier this month, the motor vessel American Spirit ran aground on the sandy bottom of Round Island Passage, located between Mackinac Island and Round Island in Michigan.
The motor vessel was in transit to Gary, Indiana carrying almost 65,000 tons of iron ore. The crew reported being forced against the channel’s southern side by heavy winds. No pollution or flooding came after the grounding.
Investigations have still not determined whether failure to follow regulations was responsible for the grounding.
Marine inspectors approved a plan from the American Steamship Company to salvage the vessel. Their proposal included transferring 5,700 tons of ore from the American Spirit to a freighter to lighten the vessel for refloating.
The 1004-foot freighter was refloated early the next morning, and then anchored at St. Ignace. Marine inspectors inspected the ship before it was permitted to get underway again.
Luckily, as with the grounding itself, no pollution or flooding occurred as a result of the refloat operations.
Can I Sue If I Get Hurt in a Tanker Accident?
Accidents happen far too frequently on cargo ships, container ships, tankers and other working vessels. It is important that ship owners make work environments safe for all employees and ensure that accidents and fatalities happen less often. If you have been injured while working on a ship, you may be able to seek damages for pain and suffering, lost wages, medical bills, mental anguish and other damages.
The experienced maritime attorneys at Latti & Anderson can help. Visit our Facebook page, and share your story. The more we share, the more others will come to understand that they are not alone and that help is out there.
Latti’s Little Extra: The act of reducing a ship’s weight by transferring its cargo to another ship is called lightering.
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