The Dangers of Boarding and Disembarking from Vessels
As ancient as the tradition of sea travel is, shipbuilders still haven't developed a safe, and reliable method for embarking and disembarking passengers to and from a ship.
Both passengers and crew members are routinely injured while using gangways, ladders, steps, and even the archaic but still often used, Jacob's ladder. Injuries of this nature can occur on both large and small vessels, commercial freighters to luxury liners.
Regardless of the type of ship, the company has a responsibility to properly maintain its points of egress. If a passenger or seamen is injured, the shipping line could be liable and may also have its vessel declared unseaworthy. In the case of a gangway, it must be easily accessible, have adequate handrails, have anti-slip material on its surfaces, be well lit, and if it extends over water, there must be safety netting. Additional precautions may still need to be taken.
Tenders— those vessels that transport passengers from the ship to the shore in shallow waters—carry their own unique set of hazards. If the water is even a little choppy, the tender provides an inconsistent landing for the person who is attempting to transfer onto it. Passengers have been crushed between tenders and docking systems utilized to get passengers from the ship to the tenders and from tenders to the ships. Changes in weather from the time that passengers go shore side to their return by tender to the ship are also responsible for numerous injuries. It is up to the experienced Miami maritime lawyer to reveal breaches of duty of care owed to passengers in authorizing shore side transfers under the circumstances that fail to anticipate weather changes and weather forecasts.
Shipping companies bear the responsibility of maintaining a safe method for their crewmen and passengers to board and exit their vessels. Even if they've taken some precautions to ensure that this happens, they may still be liable for gangway or tender injuries. If you are either employed on a ship or booked passage on one, your safety is the responsibility of the ship's owners. If you sustain an injury while embarking or disembarking, contact an experienced maritime law attorney. Attorney Robert Gross has handled numerous gangway and tender claims on behalf of both crew and passengers through the years.
To schedule an appointment with an experienced Maritime accident injury attorney in his Miami law office, please call 305-670-9009 or fill out our quick contact form to the right.