Three Crew Members Rescued from Overturned Crab Boat
According to an article on Nationalfisherman.com, three crew members were caught underneath a crab boat on Tuesday night, January 14th. Firefighters came to the rescue by cutting through the hull of the overturned boat at the entrance to Coos Bay, Oregon. The rescue efforts began after a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew saw the 38-foot crabbing boat struggling to navigate in heavy seas, before its deck lights went dark. The aircrew radio messaged the Sector North Bend command center and rescue crews were dispatched to locate the crew. Three hours later, the boat was found upside down near the tip of the north jetty at the bay entrance. Rescuers could hear the crew yelling from inside the boat. After using a battery-powered reciprocating saw to hack through the hull, firefighters helped the crew out and up the jetty rocks. According to North Bay Fire District Chief James Aldrich, all three men were rescued in stable condition and transported to the hospital.
The area has a history of overturned crab boats
According to the ap.com, three crabbers were killed off the Oregon coast last January after their boat capsized in rough waters and 12 to 14 foot waves. The area has lost many men at sea over the years: a plaque in Newport lists over 100 fishermen lost over the last century. In general, West Coast Dungeness crab fishing is an extremely dangerous job. According to data from the CDC.gov, the death toll for Dungeness crabbing crew is 310 per 100,000 compared to 124 per 100,000 for commercial fishing as a whole. As a point of reference, the U.S. average death rate for all workers is 4 per 100,000.
Fishing vessel sinking accident statistics
An analysis of fishing vessel casualties by the United States Coast Guard shows that between 1992 and 2007, 1,903 vessels were lost at sea, resulting in 934 fatalities. Of these fatalities, 507 were crew lost with the ship. Over this 16-year period, there was an average of 58 fisherman fatalities and 119 lost fishing vessels per year.
Commercial boat employers owe a duty of care to their employees
The vast majority of accidents and subsequent injuries on commercial fishing boats are preventable. Maritime law says that commercial fishing vessel owners and employers owe a duty of care to their employees to provide a reasonably safe work environment by:
- Providing a seaworthy and reasonably fit vessel
- Keeping the vessel free of hazards like broken flooring and spills
- Appropriately marking walkways
- Keeping equipment in good working order
- Providing appropriate training, supervision and manpower to get the job done safely
- Providing maintenance and cure services to injured workers
Seek the help of a maritime injury attorney
Contact an experienced Jones Act Attorney as soon as possible after an injury or the loss of a loved one due to an unseaworthy vessel or other maritime incident. Remember that your employer’s interest is to protect their bottom line; not your health, wallet, or career. You will want a skilled attorney on your side.
If you or a loved one was injured due to the reckless/negligent behavior of another seaman or maritime employer, you have enough to deal with. Let an experienced maritime injury attorney fight for justice on your behalf. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a maritime accident lawyer. Call the most experienced practicing maritime accident attorneys Bellingham has at Tario & Associates, P.S. today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing grieving family members in Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!