The Port of South Louisiana on the Mississippi River is the nation’s largest port in terms of tonnage. The port handles more than half of all American grain exports. About 60,000 barges along with 4,500 to 5,000 deep-draft vessels come through the port each year.
Whether you work on the river or aboard one of the huge ships waiting to take on cargo, working in the shipping industry is a dangerous business. In addition to slipping and falling (a common occurrence on ships) here are 3 of the most dangerous situations riverboat mariners regularly encounter.
- Being Thrown Overboard.
Falling overboard is responsible for a number of deaths caused every year to riverboat workers. Slippery or dangerous deck conditions, collisions between barges, or even the wake of one of the huge cargo ships can cause a vessel to collapse.
Treacherous water or weather conditions like those being experienced on the Mississippi River this year (2018) have been responsible for ships going down, sending crewmen overboard, and hampering rescue attempts.
Whether defective, poorly maintained, or just dangerous, the equipment used on many riverboats, tugs, and barges can cause serious injury or even death to unwary seamen. Deckhands can trip over or get caught up in equipment on the deck. Cables used to lash large barges together are under massive amounts of strain and they can snap in an instant.
Another serious danger crewmen face is mooring.
Tugboats assist other vessels in mooring and un-mooring and provide tow service in maneuvering within ports and on the seas. This is a vital, but dangerous service. It requires a high degree of knowledge and skill to properly moor a boat.
Mooring is the responsibility of the ship (not of the wharfinger) and is carried out by the ship’s crew under the supervision of the ship’s officers.
The majority of mooring accidents are caused by parted ropes or wires. Some accidents are caused by the ropes/wires slipping off the drum ends/bitts and others are caused by equipment failure. Injuries caused by non-parting of the ropes frequently involve crew members being caught up in the ropes/wires and ropes slipping off and becoming jammed on drum ends.
Whatever the cause, injuries from mooring operations can be horrific and sometimes fatal.
The riverboat and the maritime industry are a vital one for all of Louisiana. But jobs in this line of work are highly dangerous. It is particularly important if you are a crewmember to stay vigilant about taking all possible safety precautions.
Louisiana Riverboat and Maritime Attorneys.
At the Day Law Group, our skilled maritime accident attorneys can help you if you have been injured or have lost a loved one due to a riverboat or maritime injury. We have offices in Baton Rouge and we serve Baker, Gonzales, Port Allen, New Orleans, Zachary, and several other cities in Louisiana. To schedule your free consultation, call ToDay at (225) 465-1232 or contact us here.