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Pensacola Legal Blog

Cruise ship drifts in port, collides with other ship

While the following story didn't occur here in the United States, it did involve an American-owned cruise ship. The "Seabourn Encore" drifted into a cement carrier in the Port of Timaru in New Zealand recently. The source story is light on details, so it is unclear if the cruise ship was in operation at the time or if it was docked and simply drifted on its own. What is known, though, is that the cruise ship collided with another.

Local officials launched an inquiry into the accident and ultimately cleared the cruise ship to continue operating. It left the port later that night after the accident. Investigators talked to crew members, but it appears that nothing was out of the ordinary.

Compensation is needed in the wake of maritime accidents

The Jones Act may not receive a lot of acclaim from the general public, but it is a crucial piece of legislation that seamen, shipyard workers, crew members on ships and many other maritime workers respect and uphold. The Jones Act protects workers at sea from dangerous working conditions and any injuries that they may suffer on the job as a result of a vessel's dangers or an employer's negligence.

Under the Jones Act, people injured while performing maritime work can seek damages for their medical costs, as well as future medical costs. They can also sue for lost wages and pain and suffering.

Mechanical failure tosses college fishing teammates out of vessel

Incredible video has surfaced of two members of the University of Florida bass fishing team being flung from their vessel at roughly 60 miles per hour due to a mechanical failure in the boat. While traveling at these fast speeds in a straight line, the boat suddenly experienced a steering part failure, and you can see the operator of the boat struggle to control the boat and keep it going in that straight line. Soon after wobbling off its course, the boat spins out and sharply tosses the two riders into the water. Thankfully, both the individuals who were flung from the boat were okay.

It is yet another reminder of the potential risks that boaters face when they are using their recreational vehicles out on the water, and it raises two important lessons.

Why Driving a Jet Ski is Not Like Riding a Bike

All along the Gulf Coast, people enjoy riding personal watercraft, which most people refer to as jet skis. Their relative affordability, ease of use and low maintenance costs have made jet skis popular among watercraft enthusiasts.

However, over the years, serious jet ski accidents have taken lives and left many families devastated. The reality is that driving a jet ski is not as simple as riding a bike.

Not all ships are safe at sea

The television show "Deadliest Catch" has been on the air for nearly 12 years now, a pretty remarkable accomplishment when you consider that it is about the crab fishing industry. That doesn't sound like a topic that would garner popularity over the airwaves, but it has. Over the course of its time on television, "Deadliest Catch" has racked up some impressive ratings and a diligent group of fans.

But here's the thing about "Deadliest Catch": it glorifies open-ocean fishing and the fishing industry in general. It makes it seem like a fun, adventurous job -- which to a certain degree it may be. However, there are inherent dangers and risks to being a crab fisher or the operator of a fishing vessel that seem to be subverted by this show, even though the dangers are readily apparent during the show. It is the heroism and workmanship that rises to the top of the show, while the dangers are brushed to the side (though still recognized).

Travel turned tragic

Accidents on cruise ships can take many forms. However, for a group of Royal Caribbean passengers, negligent and reckless acts that occurred off the ship resulted in serious injuries and death.

Port stops are common during excursions aboard the Independence of the Seas. Almost a year ago, eight passengers decided to take a day trip to Dunn’s River Falls in Jamaica. With their ship docked, they boarded a bus chartered by the cruise line and spent the day enjoying the waterfalls and swimming with dolphins.

Common injuries in the shipyard

Many people find enjoyment from working in shipyards on the Florida coast. While the view may be spectacular, new research is pointing to the fact that this type of employment may come with significant risks. Federal regulations are being instituted in an attempt to lower the number of injuries experienced in shipyard jobs, but there are several things that employees in this field need to be aware of.


After Injuries at Sea, Maritime Workers Are Often Not Aware of Their Rights

Feel like you've been misinformed about your rights as a maritime worker? You're not alone.

Owners and operators of ships and rigs are known to provide (intentionally or not) incorrect information to maritime workers, especially after an accident at sea or on land. Why? Shipping and drilling companies are in business to make money, not necessarily to pay the full compensation that is owed to injured workers. Make no mistake, though: injured maritime workers have rights.

Yacht accidents are very serious, so contact an attorney

A day out on a yacht sounds like paradise. It almost seems like a luxurious vacation day that could only happen in a movie. And yet, there are plenty of people all across Florida that own yachts and treat their friends and loved ones to a day out on their vessel. As pristine as these yachts may seem, they can also cause problems for innocent people if an accident occurs.

Yacht owners are responsible for their yachts and the safety of the people on their vessel. They need to make sure that their yacht is compliant with maritime law, and they need to ensure that their passengers are protected from dangerous conditions on the vessel, such as slippery surfaces.

Injuries that can occur on a cruise ship

Cruise ship accidents can happen under a variety of circumstances and can affect a number of different people. Passengers can be affected by dangerous conditions; crew members can be hurt due to negligent standards or non-compliance with safety standards; and the ship itself can crash as a result of operator error or a technical malfunction with the ship itself. These are just three factors that can be involved in any cruise ship accident.

Today, we're going to focus in on the types of injuries that can occur on a cruise ship and how the victims of these injuries need to consider their legal options going forward:

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