Working on the ocean or on the docks, or enjoying boating or cruises in your down time, you face certain risks that are not an issue with other means of transportation such as riding the New York subway or navigating the city streets. The legal team at Tabak, Mellusi & Shisha are familiar with the many types of accidents that may happen at sea, and how the law differentiates between those and laws regarding accidents on land.
MarineInsight.com points out that just like on land, many accidents on vessels occur because of human error. However, when someone is careless, fatigued or under the influence of drugs or alcohol at sea, it could easily lead to the grounding, capsizing or sinking of the ship or boat you are on. Collisions and drowning are also common accidents that occur due to negligence. On cruise ships, statistics show that, although an electrical or engine malfunction may cause a fire, almost 75 percent are caused by crew or staff member mistakes.
Explosions are a particular threat on cargo ships, particularly when they are carrying flammable substances such as crude oil. Even though the nature of the cargo itself could put you at risk working on an oil tanker, it is negligence that causes approximately 84 to 88 percent of the accidents on this type of vessel.
Inclement weather could lead to a disaster anywhere. The potential for immediate rescue is much lower if your vessel is overtaken at sea, though. Appropriate preparation and response may make the difference between your life and death. Information about types of accidents that may be covered under maritime law is available on our webpage.