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Pensacola Legal Blog

Are you familiar with these maritime accidents?

It doesn't matter if you work on a ship or in some other type of maritime industry or are on or around water for pleasure, you must do whatever it takes to maintain a high level of safety at all times.

There is more than one type of maritime accident, with the following among the most common:

  • Cruise ship mishap: There are many examples of this, including a vessel that capsizes or crashes. This doesn't happen often, but it's something to learn more about so that you can prepare accordingly.
  • Commercial fishing mishap: As a commercial fisherman, it's imperative to understand the dangers of your job, such as harsh weather conditions that can lead to trouble on the water.
  • Grounding of ships: It's possible that a maritime accident could be the result of a ship scraping the bottom of the ocean. If this happens, the people on board, including workers and passengers, could suffer injury.
  • Accidents as a result of drug or alcohol use: This is a problem on the world's roadways, as well as on the water. If the person navigating the vessel is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, there's a greater chance of something going wrong.

Motorized scooters causing trouble for tourist towns

It’s a fun way to get around any beach city. Scooters have become just as easy to rent as they are to drive, but with only a drivers’ license needed to rent one, how safe can they be?

Every year, the tourists flock to Florida’s coastal cities. With them, comes a spike in scooter rentals as visitors look for fun ways to get around the town. There’s another spike that comes along with that. A spike in traffic violations issued by Florida police officers to tourists on scooters.

Boat accident off Davis Islands claims life of 57-year-old man

A boat accident off the shores of Davis Islands in Tampa, Florida left one person dead and five other people with injuries that were not disclosed to the public. The victim that lost his life was a 57-year-old man. The survivors were hanging onto a buoy in the water before Tampa Police air patrol dropped life preservers for them. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, along with other authorities, are investigating the crash.

All we know at this time is that the five people were in an unknown medical condition after the wreck, and that the boat capsized in the water. Without much information, there are still a couple of things we can discuss about this crash.

Wash your hands, avoid drunkenness on cruise ships

An Australian woman fell from a cruise ship in the South Pacific in April, and the news has made some tourists a bit squeamish about whether to consider stepping onboard for a family vacation or romantic getaway. Have no fear. Falls from cruises ships are rare, so cruise ship getaways continue to be safe vacations.

However, when choosing to take a sea cruise, always remember these two rules: Don’t get drunk resulting in doing something foolhardy or dangerous, and frequently wash your hands to prevent the spreading of disease.

Cruise ship crashes into Honduran dock

It feels like a story like the one we are to report on occurs every month or so, and unfortunately here we are yet again. The story in question occurred at a port in Honduras, where a 902-foot cruise liner that is capable of carrying nearly 2,700 people crashed into the rocks near the port after it approached at an unsafe speed.

According to tracking data made available after the accident, the cruise ship was traveling around 13.3 miles per hour during it's approach, and that the speed eventually dropped to around 10 miles per hour after multiple anchors were deployed to slow the vessel. It is unclear at this time why the captain of the cruise ship was errant in his or her approach, or if the captain was at fault at all. It is possible a mechanical malfunction caused the errant approach, among many other potential circumstances.

Commercial fishermen face unique threats

Off the coast of Florida, you aren't going to find the cast of "Deadliest Catch" or similar crab fisherman on large vessels. The grueling work depicted in that show -- where groups of fishermen brave frigid temperatures, battering waves, and other incredibly dangerous conditions -- is not a common sight off the coast of Florida. However, we aren't trying to dismiss the difficult work that commercial fisherman perform around Florida.

There are plenty of vessels and jobs that put people in dangerous situations, and it doesn't require you to be a crab fisherman in Alaska. The winches on a vessel could easily do tremendous damage to a fisherman's hands. The deck of the vessel could be slippery, leading to a worker slipping, falling, and suffering terrible injuries. The fishing nets that a commercial fishing vessel uses could cause terrible harm to an unsuspecting workers if they aren't properly used.

Discussing 3 crucial parts of admiralty and maritime law

The area of admiralty and maritime law has many different aspects to it, but today we want to focus on three distinct matters that apply to this umbrella of the law:

What is the Jones Act? The Jones Act is a law that protects workers at sea. When they are injured, either on a vessel or a structure like an oil rig, the Jones Act gives the workers a legal course of action against their employers for their negligence. The damages that you can recover under the Jones Act include any past or future medical expenses related to the incident, loss of income, and any other pain and suffering you endured as a result of the incident.

Enjoy scuba diving, but always prepare

A whole new world awaits you beneath the ocean's surface. Manatees, turtles, sting rays, hundreds of varieties of fish and even shipwrecks may be seen up close while on a scuba-diving excursion off of Florida's Gulf Coast.

An underwater adventure can be fun, educational, but potentially dangerous, especially if you are not prepared for the rigors and demands of scuba-diving. Before you consider such an exploit, you must be prepared in order to avoid injury or even death.

Intracoastal Waterway accident leaves one seriously injured

A Florida man needed to be taken to the hospital after his boat crashed into a dock on the Intracoastal Waterway. Another person was on the boat and checked out for injuries, but it does not appear that this individual was harmed. One of the two people was thrown from the boat and rescued from the water.

In terms of details, this is all we know about the accident. On the one hand, the above description is all that really needs to be said about any boating accident. These crashes are incredibly dangerous regardless of the circumstances, and the victims of the accident can suffer life-changing or life-ending injuries. On the other hand, the details of every boat accident are going to be slightly different, and those intricacies  play a crucial role in the investigation and post-accident report about the crash.

Playa del Carmen explosion injures 25 cruise ship passengers

A terrifying cruise ship accident in Playa del Carmen left a disputed number of passengers and individuals on a dock injured. The incident was captured on camera and the caught the eye of the wider internet recently, with the explosion that ripped a hole in the side of the ship "going viral." A preliminary investigation into the cruise ship accident by the Port Administration of Quintara Roo faulted a mechanical failure with the ship. But officially, that has not been confirmed yet.

Mexican authorities claimed that some 18 people suffered injuries in the explosion, but other reports have the number at 25 people. The video is quite shocking, as the explosion occurs so suddenly and without warning. It will be very interesting to see what the investigation discovers about this jarring incident.

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