Vessel Safety Checks Save Lives and Money

The Perryville News reported that a 51-year-old United Parcel Service delivery driver was killed in a “fluke accident” on Kentucky Lake on May 12. Timothy Clippard died when the motor of the fishing boat he was riding in dislodged, flew up into the boat and struck him. He and the boat operator had participated in a bass tournament and were heading back to the scales to weight their catch when the boat’s motor hit an underwater part of a bridge made of concrete or steel that caused the motor to come loose, according to the News.

That same afternoon, 85-year-old captain Stian Stiansen died when his commercial fishing vessel capsized in rough seas off the coast of New York’s Long Island. The Southampton Patch reported that a SeaTow boat pulled another 42-year-old crewmember from the water, but one other person was still missing. Petty Officer 1st Class Anthony Kozak of the US Coast Guard said that the vessel was trying to make it through the small Shinnecock Inlet that can be difficult even for experienced fishermen.

As we mentioned in our post on Monday, this is the National Safe Boating Council’s 2013 National Safe Boating Week. Another precaution that benefits boaters of all experience levels is to take advantage of a free Vessel Safety Check (VSC) from the US Coast Guard. This program allows people to have their boats examined in a slip, at a launch ramp or even in their driveway by a certified Vessel Examiner. These examinations typically take between 30 and 45 minutes, and boats that pass receive a VSC Decal that lets the Coast Guard, Harbor Patrol and other law enforcement agencies know that your boat is in full compliance with all federal and state boating laws. In addition to having the necessary equipment to save lives and summon help, you will also avoid fines if you are ever boarded by law enforcement and you could also have your insurance rates lowered.

Latti & Anderson LLP represents individuals who have sustained injuries on recreational fishing vessels as well as workers and the families of those killed in commercial fishing accidents. Seamen can be entitled compensation under the Jones Act for injuries sustained as a result of any form of negligence by their employer. We will continue to discuss National Safe Boating Week in our next blog post, and you can learn more about recreational boating accidents by visiting our website. If you or your loved one was involved in a recreational or commercial boating accident, contact our firm at (800) 392-6072 to set up a free consultation or enter your information in the form on this page to let our Jones Act lawyers review your case.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Jones Act attorneys