An integrated tug-barge (ITB) fell apart after hitting river ice off the Alaskan Coast this summer. The ITB and its crew was working to remove debris from the 2011 Japanese tsunami when the accident occurred on July 24. Two men were on the vessel when it slammed into large pieces of ice, breaking apart most of the vessel.
According to the Coast Guard, the ITB encountered strong waves and currents on the Seal River, which caused it to swing into the waves and land directly onto large chunks of ice. The Coast Guard reported that the impact from the accident “broke the mechanical system holding the tug and barge together.” The two-man crew fled the ship when the incident occurred. Both made it safely to the beach after putting on survival suits.
The owner of the ITB, who was maneuvering the ITB at the time of the accident, said the weather conditions on the water became too much to handle. The Coast Guard has reported “significant damage” to the vessel and, at the time of this report, repairs and costs are still being looked into.
Workers on tugs and barges can suffer severe injuries when lines break, hatches are not closed properly, operators fail to maintain safety equipment or accidents occur. If crewmembers are injured while working on a tug or barge, they may be able to file for compensation under the Jones Act.
Have You Been Injured Working on a Tug or Barge
The nationwide maritime trial lawyers at Latti & Anderson have extensive knowledge of maritime law and relevant federal laws that protect workers at sea. We can help you file for compensation if you have been injured while working at sea or on land. Get in touch with us today to explore your options or to schedule a consultation.
Latti & Anderson’s Little Extra: ITB’s are legally considered to be ships rather than tugboats and barges and must be staffed appropriately.
Latti & Anderson LLP– Nationwide maritime attorneys