The U.S. Coast Guard received a call on April 21 around 12:50 a.m. that a crewmember aboard the M/V MATISSE had fallen overboard in rough seas near the mouth of the Columbia River on the border of Oregon and Washington. He was wearing a yellow work helmet when he fell, but no life jacket. Conditions in the area included 11-foot swells, a water temperature of 50 degrees and an air temperature of 45 degrees. The Coast Guard suspended its search at approximately 7:30 a.m., having recovered only the yellow work helmet and a life ring that was thrown from the M/V MATISSE.
Falling overboard is a serious risk in the maritime industry. In just the commercial fishing industry, there were 170 fatalities from falling overboard between 2000 and 2010. When maritime workers fall overboard into the water, they risk drowning, suffering from hypothermia or shock, or sustaining serious injuries. When they fall overboard onto a dock or other hard surface, they risk neck and back injuries, broken bones, and traumatic brain injury.
Falls overboard in the maritime industry are often the result of negligence. Improper procedures, inadequate training, and broken or missing equipment can all lead to a worker falling overboard. When a maritime worker sustains a fall-related injury, he or she may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act or other maritime laws. In the unfortunate event a crewmember falls overboard and perishes at sea, his or her family may be entitled to compensation for the loss of their loved one.
Latti & Anderson LLP has extensive experience representing maritime accident victims and their families. For example, our firm obtained a $1.1 million settlement in a man overboard case involving a botched lifeboat drill. If you believe you may be entitled to compensation for a fall-related injury or death in the maritime industry, visit our website to learn more about maritime law, and fill out the contact form to schedule a free consultation with a Boston maritime attorney.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers