Six Hurt After Fishing Trawler Smashes Into Warship

This video from Canada’s CBC News discusses the American fishing trawler that smashed into the HMCS Winnipeg near Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Esquimalt on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. According to the Toronto Star, the British Columbia Ambulance Service confirmed six civilians were taken to hospital following the incident. Larry Edwards of the Esquimalt Public Works Department told the Star that the trawler came in hard and “the subsequent dull boom of the two enormous ships colliding rang out over the harbour” before sirens began blaring.

Electrician Rob Patterson was among the 65 people working on the Winnipeg when it was struck. “Extremely unnerving being below decks when the impact happened,” Patterson told the Star. “We were thrown about the work areas with tools and equipment being tossed amongst us.”

CFB Esquimalt did not say whether there is a hole in the hull of the warship or if the two vessels are just resting against one another, and the Star reported that there was no official information on how or when the trawler owned by a subsidiary of American Seafoods Group will be extracted from the warship. Edwards told the CBS that it appeared the fishing vessel went forward when it should have gone backwards.

Investigative authorities will need to examine of the cause of the collision, particularly the speed of trawler approaching the pier.  Records and instruments will be retrieved from the wheel house of the trawler and will provide information as to the course and speed of the vessel prior to the collision.  It is important this information is preserved in order to determine a cause of the collision.

The Jones Act lawyers at Latti & Anderson LLP have been helping commercial fishermen and their families for more than a half-century, and you can find more information about on fishing accidents our website. If you sustained catastrophic injuries or your loved one was killed while working on a commercial fishing vessel, you may be entitled to compensation for past and future lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish and physical disfigurement. You can use the form on this page to let our Jones Act attorneys review your case or you can contact our firm at (800) 392-6072 to set up a free initial consultation.

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