NTSB Rules Poor Weather Planning, Mishandling of Life Rafts Cause of Trinity II Deaths

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has determined that the Trinity II tragedy in 2011 was caused by inadequate weather preparations and ineffective use of lifesaving equipment. Four people were killed when the 94-foot jack-up lift boat was caught during Hurricane Nate. The crew abandoned the ship during the storm and two life rafts did not deploy properly. Ten crewmembers had to hang on to one life float for three days before being rescued.

The NTSB is claiming that the probable cause of death for the four victims was due to the crew’s failure to plan ahead of time for risks associated with fast-developing weather, along with the crewmembers failure to properly use the vessel’s lifesaving equipment. If safety equipment had been used accurately, crewmembers would not have been exposed to the elements as long while waiting for rescue.

Hurricane Nate gave no warning before it hit the area the Trinity II was in, giving those on board no time to do a proper evacuation of the boat. The crew also attempted to inflate the life rafts on the deck of the vessel, instead of tossing them overboard to inflate, as instructions and training indicated.

Boat accidents can occur anytime, but workers and crewmembers are especially vulnerable during severe weather conditions. If sudden weather changes put your life at risk, you may be seriously injured or even killed out at sea. At Latti & Anderson, LLP, our Jones Act attorneys can help you figure out who is responsible if you have suffered maritime injuries in a weather-related boating accident. Contact us today or call us at (800) 392-6072 for a free consultation with one of our experienced maritime trial lawyers.