New York Harbor Crash Remains Controversial

A New York Harbor accident that occurred last year remains controversial, as investigators are not in a complete agreement about what happened.

Updating the story we brought you last fall, the U.S. Coast Guard has determined that rough seas resulted in a New York Harbor pilot boat smashing into the side of a ship. Although the Coast Guard has made this determination, the Sandy Hook Pilots Association contends a mechanical problem played a role in the crash, because the operator tried to reverse the engines and was not able to, according to Professional Mariner.

The accident, which occurred on March 18, 2014, happened when the 53-foot pilot boat Wanderer was coming alongside the inbound 984-foot cargo ship Luisa. The crash injured four of the pilots who were onboard the small boat.

A Coast Guard investigator, Lt. Cmdr. Bill Grossman, said that while a final investigation has not been completed, “at this point we don’t believe there was a mechanical failure.” He said the waves at the time of the crash were significant, at 6 to 10 feet, sweeping the boat into the side of the vessel.

Nevertheless, the president of the New Jersey Sandy Hook Pilots, Capt. Rick Schoenlank said, “I think it was more than just a wave issue. We think it was a mechanical problem with the throttle assembly.”

Speaking to an Attorney About a Maritime Accident

As this case shows, the time immediately following a boating accident can be chaotic, and if severe personal injuries are involved, a determination as to cause could take several months. Remember, the time immediately after a maritime accident is very crucial in any investigation, as evidence is gathered, timelines are established and witnesses are interviewed.

If you are injured aboard a vessel, during the time following an accident, it may be in your best interest to speak to an attorney, who can also conduct an independent investigation into your case. You may be entitled to damages if negligence played a role in your accident.

In the video below, maritime trial lawyer David Anderson talks about the different types of injuries accident victims can sustain on the water and how a lawsuit could help them recover the money they need for medical expenses.

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