In a somewhat comical news story, a cruise ship struck a bridge in Jacksonville, Florida recently, causing a major stir in the local community. Thankfully no one was hurt and it appears everything is now fine. But the accident will be investigated as officials try to figure out what went wrong.
There are few details about the accident. It is unknown why the ship tried to travel under the bridge if it did not have the clearance. It is also unknown how many people were aboard the ship or why the pilot of the ship thought he or she continued along their route. What is clear is that the bridge had to be closed so that it could be inspected for structural security.
There will certainly be plenty of questions asked of the pilot of the vessel. There are rules and regulations in place to ensure that everyone is safe when a ship, small or otherwise, passes by infrastructure. If injuries had occurred with this accident, there would certainly be a lot of questions about the pilot's actions and hi or her state of mind.
Whenever a boating accident happens, may it involve a personal or recreational vessel or a cruise ship, the victims of the accident should consult with an experienced maritime and admiralty lawyer to ensure their rights are being protected. Injuries in these cases can be severe, and the people involved need legal representation.
Source: CBS 47, "Main Street Bridge struck by a boat," Nov. 26, 2016