Vessels struck bridges in two separate incidents on January 7, 2013. This video shows some of the damage after an empty oil tanker sideswiped a tower of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in California. The US Coast Guard warned the 752-foot OVERSEAS REYMAR that it was off course before the ship scraped a 30-to-40-foot section of a protective fender from the tower.
The Bay Area News Group reported that it remained unclear why 61-year-old pilot Guy Kleess changed course as the OVERSEAS REYMAR neared the bridge. Thickening fog, a faulty beacon and dangerous currents also appear to have contributed to the accident. Kleess was involved in three previous accidents, but Coast Guard officials said Kleess and the captain and crew of the OVERSEAS REYMAR passed drug and alcohol tests. No one was injured, and the bridge itself was unharmed in the tanker accident.
Roughly 20 minutes after the Bay Bridge accident in the Golden State, the MV GLADYS FORD struck one of the piers on the US Route 60 Tennessee River Bridge in Ledbetter, Kentucky. KFVS-TV reported that the tow boat was hauling several barges at the time. Inspectors were able to be on-site within minutes because Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineers were working nearby when the incident occurred. Traffic was restricted for about 15 minutes, but the West Kentucky Star reported that inspectors “gave the bridge an all-clear two hours later.” No injuries were reported in the tow boat accident.
It is certainly fortunate that neither of these accidents resulted in any hurt workers or significant damage; both incidents are reminders that these large vessels are still prone to human error. Some of these collisions can result in serious injuries to crewmembers, and these workers may be entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. Latti & Anderson LLP represents a wide range of maritime injury and death victims and their families. Our firm helps clients nationwide and we handle cases dealing with injuries sustained around the world.
We have more information about injuries on the water available on our website. If you sustained serious injuries or a loved one was killed at sea, contact our firm right now at (800) 392-6072 to schedule a free consultation or complete the form on this page to have our Jones Act attorneys review your case.
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