Maritime News & Info

A new loss prevention guide on preventing, detecting and fighting fires on roll on roll off vessels has been published. North P&I Club has offered a free 10 page guide on their website. It explains how ro-ro fires start, why they’re so dangerous and how to prevent them from ever starting in the first place.

Ro-ro vessels ship cars, trucks and other automobiles across the ocean. This cargo is inherently more dangerous than other shipping material, simply because of the risk for fire. Vehicles are often shipped with their keys in their ignition, making them ticking time bombs. The tiniest thing can go wrong and the vehicle – and nearby cargo – can go up in flames.

The North P&I guide recommends that every vehicle being shipped be thoroughly inspected before being loaded on the vessel. They recommend storing used vehicles with other used vehicles, and all vehicles should be securely fastened to prevent movement. Contact between the vehicles should be prevented at all costs, as the more they touch, the greater the chance for a fuel tank explosion.

Training is also key in preventing fires, the guide says. Crew members should be familiar with the location and use of all fire fighting equipment. Regular practice of realistic drills is important, too. Of course, all the training in the world will be worth nothing if the crew is not vigilant for signs of a fire. North P&I Club encourages all crew members to stay alert during loading and unloading – and to pay attention to loose debris on deck or near vehicles.

Maritime Lawyer

If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may want to speak with an attorney. Richard Serpe gained a Master’s Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

A capsized tugboat in the San Jacinto River in Texas led to the death of one man. Authorities say the vessel began taking on water and flipped over, sending five crew members into the water. Four of the crew were located in the water and rescued, but the fifth person was missing. The Coast Guard later found the man unresponsive in the water. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. The man was wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

This accident occurred last spring, and there were initially many theories as to why it occurredSome speculated that high water levels may have had something to do with it. Stormy weather near Houston had caused water levels to rise the week of the accident. The area saw more than a foot of rain that April, and seven deaths were attributed to the flooding.

The location of the accident also raised questions. The tugboat flipped over near a barge. Many believe the tugboat may have snagged on a barge line, causing the vessel to flip.

Now, the National Transportation Safety Board says they’ve determined the cause of the accident for once and for all. A relief captain performed a downstreaming maneuver in the high water, causing the accident. This procedure occurs when a tugboat moves downstream with the current to approach another object, like a barge. When done right, the tugboat will head upstream before turning to move toward the fleet, with the engines in reverse so they can move slower than the current. But if the current is too strong, the tugboat can flip.

Maritime Lawyer – Richard Serpe

If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may want to speak with an attorney. Richard Serpe gained a Master’s Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

 

 

An 18-year-old has been arrested following a boating accident this week. The early morning – or late night, depending on how you look at it – crash occurred when the teen and a friend were thrown off their boat when the collided with another vessel. Police arrived on scene to discover one of the boats had run aground and was wedged between a dock and some rocks. Upon investigating, authorities found that the vessel had circled the harbor unmanned after the boys fell off. The boat struck three others while it was unmanned – one was hit more than once.

One of the boats that sustained damage from the unmanned boat had four people on board. One of the men on board injured his hand during the collision. Thankfully, his was the only injury sustained in this incident. The boats involved didn’t fare as well. Reports show there are varying levels of damage done to each of the five boats involved.

The 18-year-old man was arrested and charged with operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, unsafe operation of a motor boat, underage possession of alcohol and four separate charges of leaving the scene of an accident with property damage.

No matter how old you are or how experienced a mariner you might be, drinking while boating is never a good idea. Of course, it’s a particularly terrible idea to do when you’re underage and likely inexperienced at sea. It’s a wonder more people weren’t injured in this accident. The only good thing about the late hour of the collisions is the lowered chances of injuring others. This young man will have a lot to answer for in the coming weeks.

Maritime Lawyer – Richard Serpe

If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may want to speak with an attorney. Richard Serpe gained a Master’s Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

A summer’s afternoon on the water turned deadly for a New Jersey woman last week. The 26-year-old was standing at the bow of a rented pontoon boat when it hit a wake and she fell overboard. Unable to swim and not wearing a life jacket, the woman was struck by the propeller of the boat. She sustained serious injuries to her face and leg. Thankfully, she was rescued by another passenger on the boat. She was taken to the hospital where she remains for specialized treatment.

The man piloting the boat was charged with negligent operation of a vehicle. The charge carries a minimum fine of $32o.

For those not familiar with boating or being out on the water, this type of accident can happen all too easily. It’s tricky to anticipate any kind of wake, no matter how experienced on the water you might be. Even on calm days, a wake can appear seemingly out of nowhere, unsettling those on board. It’s accidents like this one that remind us all of the importance of a life jacket.

No one ever expects to be thrown overboard, but even the best swimmers can become quickly overwhelmed when tossed into the ocean unaware. For this young woman, a fellow passenger saved the day by pulling her out of harm’s way. Others might not have been so lucky.

We send the victim best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery. It’s not easy to come back from an injury like the ones she sustained in this accident.

Renting pontoon boats is a fun way to spend a summer’s day, but many people underestimate the danger of boating without an experienced driver. Always check with your captain to assess their comfort level behind the helm before you get onboard. If you do decide to climb on board, put on your life jacket regardless of your level of confidence in the water. It just might save your life.

Maritime Lawyer – Richard Serpe

If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may want to speak with an attorney. Richard Serpe gained a Master’s Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

A tragic boating accident on Lake George resulted in the death of a 9-year-old girl and seriously injured her mother. The accident happened on Monday, July 25, 2016 around 9:30 p.m.

According to reports, seven family members were out on Lake George around 9:30 p.m. when it was run over by another boat. The crash was initially reported as a hit-and-run, but authorities located the second boat about a mile from the crash site at Tea Island Resort on Lake Shore Drive.

Sadly, a 9-year-old girl was killed, and her mother was taken to a nearby hospital where she is expected to recover.

We send our condolences to the family and friends of the victims.

Was Alcohol to Blame?

The 24-year-old driver of the second boat is currently being questioned by authorities. They believe that the driver and four others may have been at the Log Bay Day party which takes place every year on the lake’s eastern shore. This event is known to attract over 600 people and is also known to get rowdy.

Boating accidents like this one tend to have several potential causes. Unsurprisingly, alcohol-impaired drivers are to blame for most of the deadly boating accidents. Irresponsible boaters that choose to boat under the influence cause tragedies like this one more often that we may realize.

Maritime Lawyer – Richard Serpe

If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may want to speak with an attorney. Richard Serpe gained a Master’s Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.