Experienced Maritime Attorneys BLOG

TSAC Releases Over 100 Tips for Preventing Falls Overboard

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Latti & Anderson

Recently, the Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC) released a list of over 100 tips for preventing falls overboard from vessels. The list was compiled after the TSAC reviewed US Coast Guard incident reports of 55 fall-overboard fatalities between 2000 and 2010. Through reviewing the reports, the TSAC was able to identify 29 conditions that could lead to falls overboard and based on those findings, put together a list of best practices to prevent overboard falls, including: Keeping decks clean and clear of tripping hazards Having a buddy system in place for those working on deck and making sure everyone on deck at night has a radio and a flashlight Painting all perimeter and tripping hazards on a vessel in a contrasting color for visibility Having de-icing procedures Always keeping a hand free when walking on deck “TSAC said the best way to address falls-overboard fatalities is through [building a] foundation of a strong safety culture,…
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New Immersion Suit Protects Shipwreck Victims for 24 Hours

Posted on April 21, 2014 by Latti & Anderson

According to Professional Mariner, a newly-designed immersion suit has been shown in tests to be able to protect wearers for over 24 hours. Testing of the Stearns 1950 Thermashield 24+ Immersion Suit was conducted in September 2013 at Simon Fraser University near Vancouver, British Columbia. The US Coast Guard requires that an immersion suit protect the wearer for at least six hours to be certified. Members of the Canadian Coast Guard were used for the tests, which were conducted in 32 degree water. “At 24 hours and 15 minutes, we ended the testing,” stated Darin Webb, global senior director, product development with Stearns. “We felt there wasn’t a need for additional data. Several of the people were more than willing to stay in the suit.” The idea for the 24+ Immersion Suit was brought to Stearns by Bob Duncan, an Alaska Airlines pilot and inventor. He was able to design a…
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Who Can I Sue If I Slipped and Fell on a Dock?

Posted on April 18, 2014 by Latti & Anderson

For maritime workers, boarding and disembarking a vessel is almost second nature.  In some instance, gangways and ladders will provided to the crew to go back and forth between the vessel; but in many instances no means is provided to the crew. Under maritime law, vessel owners are required to provide workers with a reasonably safe place to work and that includes a safe manner to go to and from the fishing vessel.  In fact, depending on the vessel, there are statutes/regulations that require a boat owner or employer to provide a ladder or gangway for boarding  and disembarking their ship.  If a maritime accident is the result of a vessel owner or employer failing to maintain a reasonably safe means for getting on or off a ship, then the owner could be held accountable under negligence or unseaworthiness. Maritime law is not as clear on the responsibility of a dock owner…
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