Maritime News & Info

A flash fire is to blame for the hospitalization of three shipyard workers. The incident occurred at the Colonna’s Shipyard in Norfolk around 4:30 in the afternoon last Saturday, October 29th. Fire and rescue workers received word that a fire had broke out in the engine room of a dry docked ship.

When emergency personnel arrived on scene, three men needed treatment for their burns. They were taken to the hospital where they were treated in the trauma unit. The fire was under control by 5:30 PM, reports indicate.

The cause of the fire is still a mystery, but the incident remains under investigation. Some speculate that something sparked in the engine room, which might have set off the hydraulic fluid and caused a fire. We wish the recovering workers a full and speedy recovery.

Workplace incidents like this highlight the inherent danger in shipyard employment. Even in relatively safe conditions like a dry docked vessel, danger can strike. That’s why it is so critical that employers do as much as they can to protect their workers. Creating a safe environment for employees isn’t just the right thing to do morally, it’s the law.

No one should have to put their lives on the line for work, but that’s exactly what these three injured workers have experienced. In exchange for providing for themselves and their family, their honest day of work turned into a nightmare.

These workers will likely need time off work to fully recover from their injuries. Fewer shifts mean a smaller paycheck. With the help of an attorney, injured workers can seek compensation for these lost wages.

Virginia Personal Injury Lawyers

The Law Offices of Richard J. Serpe, P.C. has helped victims injured in accidents for over 30 years. If you or your loved one has been injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact us for a free consultation. Their is no obligation, and you don’t owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your case.

The search is on for a missing 25-year-old man last seen tubing in Ocean View on Thursday, August 11. He and some friends were tubing on the Chesapeake Bay when a current pushed the man into the water. He was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident, but friends say he is a strong swimmer. The Coast Guard, along with friends and family have extended their search from the Little Creek Channel all the way up through 21st Bay Street.

Tubing is a fun activity – the risks seem fairly limited. But to riders both experienced and inexperienced, tubing can quickly turn from summer fun to deadly serious. Tubing is often done on lakes and rivers, but on the ocean, it becomes much more focused on speed and power. Accidents are bound to happen.

We send our thoughts out to the family and friends still searching for this man. We can only hope he’ll return home safely.

If you decide to go tubing, always wear a life jacket. Even the strongest of swimmers can become quickly overwhelmed by the open ocean. Experts recommend wearing bright colors in the water when you’re tubing so the boat towing you can easily spot you if you fall off. Designate one person on board as a spotter. They’ll keep their eye on you as you ride, so that even if you fall off your tube, the person will know exactly where you’re at in the water.

Maritime Accident Lawyer Richard Serpe – GET HELP

Maritime environments are no different. If you’ve been injured an experienced maritime and Jones Act attorney can help you recover the damages related to your injury. Richard Serpe gained a Masters Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

A 20 ft. recreational boat overturned yesterday on the York River. Two people, a woman and a girl just nine-years-old, were killed in the accident. The victims had been fishing with four other people when the boat capsized. The two were trapped under the boat and drowned. Both were wearing life jackets at the time of the accident. Investigators are still working to understand exactly how the boat overturned, but they suspect strong winds and rough waters are to blame. The other people involved in the accident were not seriously hurt.

We send our condolences to the family and friends of the victims. A fun afternoon fishing on the river should never end with such tragedy. Even when doing everything right, like wearing your life jacket, nature can strike at any moment.

Contributing factors

Boating accidents like this one tend to have several potential causes. The top cause? Unsurprisingly, alcohol-impaired drivers are to blame for most of the deadly boating accidents. Operator inexperience and inattention are also frequently the catalyst for dangerous accidents. Lack of proper lookout, excessive speed and navigation rules violations round out the most common reasons for boating deaths.

Reducing the risks

Boating can be a fun and safe activity for the whole family. By staying alert and on guard, you’ll be able to prevent any kind of chain of events that lead to a serious accident. Taking the weather into consideration is just one of the many considerations you’ll need to take in before hitting the water. If you’re an inexperienced boater, save your trips for clear, calm days as you gain more hours on the water under your belt. Wearing a life jacket is another quick and easy way to prevent serious injury or even death. By making smart decisions before disaster strikes, you’ll be in a better place to react to changing conditions.

Maritime Accident Lawyer Richard Serpe – GET HELP

Maritime environments are no different. If you’ve been injured an experienced maritime and Jones Act attorney can help you recover the damages related to your injury. Richard Serpe gained a Masters Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

FREE MARITIME ACCIDENT CONSULTATION 877-544-5323

If lying on the beach or wading in the water is too dull for you, chances are, you’re probably longing for a cruise on a jet ski. And why not? The personal watercraft is exciting, fun and easy for just about anyone to drive. Unfortunately, though, jet skis aren’t without their risks. Before you hop on a jet ski this weekend, check out these five must-know safety tips to keep you safe on the water.

#1 Don’t drink and jet.

It sounds obvious, but too many people forget that the fruity umbrella drinks they sipped on the beach are a bad mix when it comes to jet skis. Never, ever operate any kind of vehicle – on the water or off – while under the influence of alcohol. It’s not just unsafe, it’s against the law! Combined with the heat of the sun and the movement of the water, alcohol’s effects can often be felt even more than on land. Don’t take the risk – sober up before you board a jet ski.

#2 Learn and actually use the jet skis safety equipment.

Many jet skis have a device called a kill cord attached. It affixes to your wrist while you cruise, but should you fall off, the jet ski will automatically deactivate. Don’t bother to use the kill cord and you could find your jet ski taking a ride without you – and possibly injuring others on the water.

#3 Before you ride, check for recalls.

With smartphones in everyone’s pocket, even at the beach, there’s no excuse for not quickly checking to see if your jet ski has fallen under a recall. Jet ski recalls happen frequently, and the reasons for them can be deadly. Faulty fuel lines have caused explosions, while faulty steering columns can cause riders to lose control. A quick check of recalls.gov could save you a world of trouble.

#4 Stay alert.

For new jet skiers in particular, the thrill and novelty of your first few rides will be exciting. Maybe too exciting. Sometimes, jet skiers get so focused on how much fun they’re having that they forget the ocean isn’t their playground. Other skiers, boaters, swimmers or divers are usually in the area, so it’s important to stay alert while at the helm of a jet ski.

#5 Wear your life jacket.

Again, this is simple advice, but it’s by far the most ignored safety tip out there. Many people dismiss life vests as tools for weak swimmers. Even if you’re a great swimmer, a life jacket can come in handy should you find yourself in danger. Better safe than sorry!

Follow these simple tips, and you’re sure to have a fun, safe day on the water!

Virginia Maritime Lawyer – Richard Serpe

If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may want to speak with an attorney. Richard Serpe gained a Master’s Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

One person is dead and two more are injured following a jet ski collision in the Outer Banks. The incident is still being investigated, but early reports indicate that two jet skis collided, injuring and killing passengers. The July 10, 2016 accident occurred around 2 p.m. near Sunset Watersports in Duck, North Carolina. The person killed in the wreck was just 25 years old. We send our condolences to his family and friends.

The problem with jet ski rentals

  • Inexperience – Jet skis are frequently rented out to people with no experience on the water. While we don’t know the experience level of the people involved in this particular crash, it’s common for tourists to rent jet skis while on vacation in the Outer Banks. Though the rental companies often give a quick lesson on how to use the vehicle, it’s often lacking in detail. Without any experience on jet skis or watercraft in general, it’s easy for a person to become overwhelmed, particularly in an emergency scenario.
  • Boating Under the Influence – Another major  concern, is jet skiing under the influence of alcohol. It may be tempting to jump on a jet ski after you’ve had a few drinks, but resist that urge. It is not only illegal to operate a personal watercraft under the influence, but it is also a life-threatening action that should be avoided.

Collisions between jet skis more common than you’d think

Why are there so many deadly jet ski accidents? Inexperienced drivers and riders are just one common cause. Another reason is the way jet skis handle compared to other types of vehicles. More than 70 percent of all personal watercraft collisions involve another vessel, often another jet ski. That’s because drivers underestimate the speed and distance it takes to overtake another vessel.

Fast turns, quick injuries

Jet skis are also incredibly fast, and turn much sharper than any other kind of watercraft. When a rider doesn’t expect a fast turn, they can easily be thrown into the water at high speeds. Smacking into water at such high rates can cause serious injuries. Life vests can help keep you afloat in deep water, sure, but they won’t take the sting out of hitting water at 60 miles per hour.

None of this is to say you can’t rent a jet ski and enjoy yourself the next time you hit the beach. Just be knowledgeable about the kinds of jet ski accidents that are common, and remember the potential for danger! Jet skis are more powerful than we realize, so don’t sleep through the rental company’s safety lesson.

Virginia Maritime Lawyer

If you’ve been injured because of the negligence of someone else, you may want to speak with an attorney. Richard Serpe gained a Master’s Degree in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law. He has also been awarded the rank of Proctor (the highest rank available) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.