Coast Guard Calls of Search for Missing Tugboat Captain Brendan O’Leary

The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for a missing tugboat captain Thursday evening. The captain, Brendan O’Leary, is believed to have fallen from his ship into the water about nine miles off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. Officials had been searching the waters since Wednesday when O’Leary is believed to have fallen from the New York based ship into 52 degree waters. Search and rescue crews used three boats and a helicopter in their efforts to find the man.

O’Leary captained the Steven-Scott, a 91-foot tugboat that was carrying jet fuel to Boston when O’Leary went missing.  His crew alerted authorities after realizing he had been missing for nearly an hour, and is not believed to have been wearing a life jacket.

Ships like the tugboat O’Leary was captaining push and pull barges as well as transport materials. Tug and barge accidents can be extremely dangerous for workers onboard, especially if equipment or vessel was not properly maintained or if the worker’s employer or the tug owner failed to institute proper safety measures. Latti & Anderson LLP has represented families who have lost a loved one at sea due to not having the proper railing on the vessel, whether it be lack of a railing or improper height according to regulations. In some cases, crew members have fallen overboard while repairing equipment without the proper safety precautions set up; others have been swept overboard while operating in unsafe sea and weather conditions.

Those who have lost family members in maritime accidents may need help walking through these difficult times and understanding their rights and options moving forward. It is important to start investigating the accident to protect the family’s rights.  An experienced maritime attorney will understand issues from a maritime employer’s liability to the laws affecting offshore accidents.