Life Jacket Saves Man’s Life

On Aug. 14, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued a 43-year-old man stranded in the water near Auke Bay, Alaska. He had been working crab pots near Point Louisa when his canoe capsized. After being reported missing by a friend, he was found by Coast Guard responders and transported to Bartlett Hospital for treatment of mild hypothermia and shock.

When Coast Guard responders located the overdue boater, they discovered he had a crab pot line wrapped around his leg. According to Coast Guard officials, his life jacket was the only thing keeping him afloat. “This is a classic case of how life jackets can save lives,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Brent Flanick. “In this instance the gentleman could very well have been pulled to the ocean floor.”

As this story illustrates, a life jacket can make the difference between surviving or drowning if you end up in the water. Life jackets are especially important in the commercial fishing industry, considered by the CDC to be “one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States.” According to data for 2000-2010 from the Commercial Fishing Incident Database, of the 545 commercial fishermen who died while working in the U.S. during that time period, 170 fell overboard.

Maritime employers have a duty to ensure all vessels are equipped with proper safety gear, to maintain each vessel and its equipment, and to train all crewmembers in emergency and lifesaving procedures. When commercial fishermen sustain injuries because of employer negligence, they may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act.

If you have been hurt in a commercial fishing accident, visit our website to learn more about the Jones Act and other maritime laws, and call us toll free at (800) 392-6072 to discuss your case with a qualified Boston maritime attorney.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers