It’s easy to think most maritime accidents only involve commercial fishermen, longshoremen and deckhands. However, vessel cooks and stewards are also susceptible to injuries at sea. Vessel cooks are necessary on smaller vessels, such as tugboats, as well as larger vessels, like yachts or cruise ships. Vessel stewards are also necessary to perform housekeeping duties…

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Seastreak, the company that operates the new Providence-Newport vessel, is facing $75 million in lawsuits after a ferry accident in 2013 that injured 45 passengers. The ferry was carrying 326 passengers when it smashed into a docking barge. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the ferry did not have a safety management system.…

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In March, a fisherman began working on a boat in Galveston that was filming a reality show on the National Geographic Channel called Big Fish, Texas. On the first day at sea, the fisherman received lacerations on his hands despite the fact he was wearing gloves. The lacerations became infected. While the production crew could…

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The GCaptain publication makes a very apt observation that shipping culture often equates hard work with fewer hours of sleep. However, studies have shown that who is awake for 17 hours straight can be comparable to a person with a .05 blood alcohol content level. This is especially applicable to fatigued maritime workers. Given all of…

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Last week, we discussed the Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) automatic system that sounds an alarm if the watch officer of a vessel falls asleep, becomes incapacitated or if absent from the controls for any extended period. The “Consequences” section of the June 2013 issue of National Fisherman features another story demonstrating some of…

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Boston Maritime Trial Lawyers Examine BNWAS Mandate A recent Professional Mariner story discussing the Bridge Navigational Watch Alarm System (BNWAS) mandate began by recalling the so-called “I-40 Disaster” that occurred southeast of Webbers Falls, Oklahoma, on the Arkansas River in May 2002. After towboat captain Joe Dedmon lost consciousness due to a heart-rhythm episode, the…

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This past January, 57 people were injured when the SEASTREAK WALL STREET commuter ferry crashed into a pier in lower Manhattan. On May 17, THE SPIRIT OF AMERICA ferry lost power and crashed into several pilings while attempting to dock at the St. George Ferry Terminal. The Staten Island Advance reported that several passengers aboard…

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The CARNIVAL TRIUMPH was involved in yet another maritime accident on April 3 when high winds caused the cruise ship and several other barges to break loose from their moorings and collide with an adjacent pier, causing it to collapse. The story has not garnered the national attention that the TRIUMPH received when more than…

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Choosing a Maritime Attorney If you find yourself dealing with an attorney death during an ongoing maritime lawsuit, you have an important decision to make: who will represent you going forward? Although your previous attorney’s estate may work out a deal with another lawyer or firm, you have the right to choose who will represent…

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If you have filed a maritime lawsuit against a negligent employer, drunk boater, irresponsible cruise line or other party, and your attorney passes away while the case is pending or you are no longer happy with your current attorney’s representation of you, you have the right to choose new legal representation. You always have the…

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The U.S. Coast Guard received a call on April 21 around 12:50 a.m. that a crewmember aboard the M/V MATISSE had fallen overboard in rough seas near the mouth of the Columbia River on the border of Oregon and Washington. He was wearing a yellow work helmet when he fell, but no life jacket. Conditions…

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We’ve been talking about the importance of life jackets this week, but watercrafts are required to be equipped with other safety devices too. Missing or defective safety equipment typically constitutes negligence and may also be considered an unseaworthy condition. Recreational and commercial vessels should have at a minimum: One USCG-approved immersion suit or personal flotation…

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On Monday we discussed how a man’s life jacket saved him when his canoe capsized near Auke Bay, Alaska, leaving him stranded in the water with a crab pot line tangled around his leg. Personal flotation devices are one of the most important pieces of equipment on any watercraft. PFDs help to save lives when…

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Butane Stove Explodes On Charter Fishing Vessel A butane stove exploded on the charter vessel DAWG DAZE on Aug. 4, causing one passenger to suffer second to third degree burns on his arm. The incident occurred roughly 28 miles off the coast of Portland, Maine. The victim’s name was not immediately released. U.S. Coast Guard…

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Carolyn M. Latti to Chair Admiralty Law Section of the AAJ Latti & Anderson LLP is proud to announce that partner Carolyn M. Latti is now chair of the Admiralty Law Section of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). Her appointment was made official at the AAJ 2012 Annual Convention, which was held in Chicago…

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COSTA CONCORDIA Captain Admits He Was “Distracted” July 13 marked six months since the COSTA CONCORDIA capsized near the Italian island of Giglio, resulting in the deaths of 32 people, including two Americans. Island residents and victims’ relatives offered prayers, while ships sounded their horns in honor of those lost. Church bells rang out at…

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A group of family members and friends were on their way home from a fireworks display on July 4 when their 34-foot yacht, the CANDI ONE, capsized in Oyster Bay. Three children, ages 8, 11 and 12, died in the accident, and 24 other people were rescued. According to NBC 4 New York, Nassau County…

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On May 31, six men set out on a deep-sea fishing excursion aboard the F/V SOUTHERN COMFORT. Moments in, the vessel ran aground and began taking on water. According to The Express-Times, Captain Albert G. Stork was preparing to take the 38-foot vessel beyond Barnegat Light Inlet’s north jetty of rocks when it struck a…

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Modern technology has allowed for shipwreck-proof designs and advance warnings about dangerous sea conditions, but human error can render such progress meaningless. In 2002, for example, the Senegalese state-run passenger ferry M/V LE JOOLA sank off the coast of Gambia during a storm, killing more than 1,800 people. Although bad weather may have directly caused…

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For two men, an April salmon-fishing trip off the coast of California turned into a nightmare when their vessel ran aground. Luckily, both men survived the fishing accident, and their story now serves as a reminder about the dangers of boating while fatigued. A skipper and his lone crewman set out in a 58-year-old, wooden…

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