It has been impossible to escape the headlines all across the country in the last few days. Jose Fernandez, one of the great young pitchers in baseball for the Miami Marlins, died in a boating accident last weekend. The 24-year-old was on a recreational boat with two other people when the boat struck a jetty. All three people on the boat were killed in the accident. The crash is under investigation, and at this time it is unknown if alcohol was involved in the crash, though initial reports indicate that it was not involved.
Foreign liquids spilled on the ground, unsafe working conditions and negligence by an employer are not factors that are limited to land. These factors can take hold at sea, and they can leave people with serious injuries and debilitating circumstances. Seamen, commercial fishermen, offshore workers and many other people who work under maritime laws have rights that protect them when these conditions arise and they are also covered by federal laws. Given the dangers of their work, these laws are the least that could be provided to help them in their times of need.