Maritime News & Info

We’re finishing out Safe Boating Week today with a spotlight on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Though we might traditionally associate this health hazard with the colder months – most carbon monoxide poisonings come from furnaces, stoves and other heat sources without proper ventilation – it can be a real threat to boaters year-round.

Known as the silent killer, carbon monoxide makes victims sick before they even realize something is amiss. It makes victims nauseous, something they could mistake for seasickness. Other symptoms include irritated eyes, headache and dizziness. Many times, folks don’t realize they’re being poisoned until after they have passed out from inhaling the gas. If they’re not found in time, victims can die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

So how exactly does carbon monoxide fit into a breezy day on the water? It can gather along the side or behind a vessel in mere minutes. When exhaust vents are blocked, the gas can accumulate inside the cabin.

Exhaust from other vessels can also contain carbon monoxide. When docked or anchored alongside your boat, your neighbor can emit the poisonous gas your direction. Slow speeds or idling can also cause carbon monoxide to build up to unsafe levels. Even water skiers aren’t immune to the effects of carbon monoxide – if they’re within 20 feet of a moving watercraft, they can be susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Keep alert to the possibility of carbon monoxide accumulation possibilities. Leave plenty of room between your vessel and other boats, and install carbon monoxide detectors in all cabins. It’s the only way to stay safe!

Maritime Accident Lawyer Richard Serpe – GET HELP

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.


istock_000003745723xsmallIt’s National Safe Boating Week – what will you do to celebrate?

Okay, so maybe you’re not planning a real celebration, but there are things you can do to keep yourself safe for this week and the upcoming summer season. Here are some easy ways to get responsible:

1. Wear your life jacket every time you’re on the water. For strong swimmers, this one may seem unnecessary, but the reality is that accidents can happen to anyone. When a person is knocked overboard unexpectedly, they can flail and tire easily. That’s when a life jacket comes in handy. Kids, especially, should always heed this advice. Three fourths of fatal boating accidents were drownings, and 85 percent of those victims were not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.

2. Sober drivers are just as necessary at sea as they are on land. A day on the water can make a person thirsty, but make sure you’re reaching for a bottle of water, not beer, while at the helm. You wouldn’t drive a car after drinking, so why is a boat any different?

3. Prep your boat. Your boat needs outfitted for the water, just like you do. But did you know the U.S. Coast Guard offers free Vessel Safety Checks? Treat yourself to some expert opinions this boating safety week!

4. Be smart about weather. Even the most seasoned boater can get caught by a surprise summer thunderstorm. Be smart and check the forecast before heading out.

5. Stay in touch. Never boat without telling a friend where you’re headed, and have multiple ways to keep in touch while out on the water. A cell phone, satellite phone and personal locator beacons can all come in handy in the worst case scenario.

There’s no better way to stay safe than to be proactive. Do your homework before getting on the water this summer, and protect yourself and your loved ones.

Among the most dangerous kinds of accidents maritime workers face is the line handling accident. These kinds of incidents occur when workers stand near pinch points, spots where lines meet fixed objects. Loose gloves and clothing often get caught in pinch points. Though not many details have been released, it appears a New York tugboat crew member was injured in a line handling accident last week.

That’s the news out of New York City, where the tugboat Mister T  was helping to move another vessel. First responders say they received a call around 9:00 PM the night of April 13, 2017. A 27-year-old crew member was adjusting a line when his arm was caught. When the tugboat moved, his arm was severed.

Harbor Unit officers responded to the call and applied a tourniquet to the man to stop the bleeding. Unfortunately, the arm fell into the water during the accident and could not be recovered. The injured  crew member is recovering in the hospital.

Line handling accidents like this one account for many serious injuries each year. In fact, they’re the second leading cause of significant injuries in the towing industry. Only falls account for more serious accidents and injuries.

Crew aboard a tugboat face a number of work hazards. Heavy equipment, slippery decks and constantly changing weather conditions can spell disaster for even the most careful of crew members. The workers must place a tremendous amount of trust in their employers that a safe work environment will be provided. Though common sense is required of such crew members, employers hold a big responsibility in fostering a safe place to work.

No one should risk their health in order to earn a living and provide for their families. We send our best wishes out to the injured crew member as he recovers.

Get Help From An Experienced Virginia Maritime Injury Attorney

If you’ve been injured in an accident while working on a barge, or have lost a loved one in a barge accident, you may need a maritime injury lawyer. Attorney Richard Serpe has a Masters Degree (LLM) in maritime law from Tulane University School of Law, and has obtained the highest ranking (Proctor) from the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

If you’d like to setup a free consultation with Virginia Maritime Injury Lawyer Richard Serpe,
call us at 877-544-5323 or click here to send us an email.

A shipyard worker had to be rescued after a fall in Chesapeake last week. Reports say that the Chespeake Fire Department was on site at the Elizabeth River Terminals February 15, 2017. They received a call about an employee there who had taken a spill and injured their leg. They discovered the worker had been 60 feet down from the top of the ship’s deck when he slipped and hurt himself.

A rescue basket had to be attached to a crane to rescue the injured man. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. No updates have been given on his condition.

We send best wishes for a full and speedy recovery to the victim. The days following an accident like this can be troubling to say the least. The victim may want to consider reach out to an experienced Virginia maritime lawyer.

Maritime workers face danger in the workplace on a near daily basis. If safety is not the first priority of the company, their employees could be seriously injured – or even killed. Because of the complicated mechanics of the average shipyard, there are untold dangers beyond the typical workplace safety hazards. A slippery, wet floor in a hotel might be dangerous for employees who might slip and fall, but a slippery floor at a shipyard could result in a fatality. That’s why OSHA keeps such a close eye on terminals and their employees.

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.

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.