We have been blogging a lot recently about towboat accidents as a way to raise awareness that these vessels are often involved in mishaps.
Remember, even though tugboats may have a smaller size and build than other vessels, unsafe working conditions can lead to serious accidents. Tugboat crashes can result from equipment malfunctions, electrical complications and fires, in addition to capsizing and sinking incidents. They also result from operator negligence.
These accidents can lead to serious personal injuries for crewmembers, including brain injury damage, paralysis, serious burns, disfigurement and amputation. Because of this, our firm has represented many tugboat accident victims and their family members.
Tugboat Hits Mississippi River Bridge, Barges Break Loose
Recently, in an accident that could have caused injuries, but thankfully did not, the stern of a tugboat traveling up the Mississippi River earlier this month crashed into a bridge pylon, causing 21 barges to break loose from the vessel.
The incident took place near Natchez, Mississippi. The Marquette Transportation Company of Paducah, Kentucky, according to the Natchez Democrat, owns the tugboat involved in the incident, the Lindsay Ann Erickson.
Officials from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Mississippi Department of Transportation are investigating the accident. The loose barges were corralled and secured at a nearby riverbank. We are thankful that nobody working aboard the vessel or nobody around it when the incident took place was injured.
Speaking to an Attorney Following a Tugboat Accident
Sadly, many tugboat incidents like the one mentioned above have disastrous consequences. If you have been injured or have had a family member killed in a tugboat accident, it may be wise to contact an experienced maritime attorney. In the video above, David Anderson explains the importance of obtaining counsel following a vessel accident.
Keep in mind, injured workers and the family members of employees who are killed in maritime accidents have certain rights. An attorney can investigate your case and determine if you are entitled to compensation under state laws, the Jones Act or another form of maritime law.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys
[Latti’s Little Extra: Early versions of tugboats featured steam engines, but most vessels built today have diesel engines.]