In conjunction with World Oceans Day on June 8, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) released finding from a study it commissioned into shipping accidents over the past 15 years. “Since 1999 there have been 293 shipping accidents in the South China Sea and east Indies, home of the Coral Triangle and 76 per cent of the world’s coral species,” WWF International Marine Manger Simon Walmsley said in a press release. “As recently as April this year we`ve seen a Chinese fishing boat run aground on a protected coral reef in the Philippines that had already been damaged by a US Navy ship in January.”
Researcher stressed that old age and failure to maintain shipping vessels were contributing factors to accidents, but they also highlighted that flag states have a responsibility to enforce regulations over the vessels. The study found that the greatest probability of a shipping accident occurring involves all of the following factors acting together:
- Key hotspot locations in Southeast Asia (particularly the Coral Triangle), the east Mediterranean and Black Sea, North Sea and British Isles—although the study notes “there will be more ships operating in high risk areas and in areas where potential new shipping routes may be established, such as the Arctic and resource rich areas like the west coast of Canada”
- Vessels over 10 years old
- Poorly performing flag states
- Being a general cargo or fishing vessel
“Badly maintained and operated vessels have a higher probability of causing loss of human life, loss of vessels and of impacting the marine and coastal environment,” the study states. You can click here to view an infographic about findings of the WWF study, and you can click here to read the study.
Many shipping accidents are the result of a failure to obey International Safety Management Code regulations, and injured seamen or their families can be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act in shipping accidents caused by poorly maintained equipment and unseaworthiness under general maritime law. Latti & Anderson LLP has obtained several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for clients who sustained injuries in shipping accidents, including a $1.45 million settlement for the descendant of a longshoreman who was crushed to death between shipping containers. You can contact our firm at (800) 392-6072 to schedule a free consultation or you can fill out the form on this page to let our Jones Act attorneys review your case.
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— Latti & Anderson LLP (@Latti_Anderson) June 19, 2013