2 Cruise Ship Passengers Evacuated After Falling Ill
Recently, two passengers from two different cruise ships were evacuated after falling ill.
One passenger, aboard the Royal Caribbean ship Explorer of the Seas, showed signs of appendicitis. The vessel was heading back to Port Everglades and was about 130 miles southwest of Key West when the woman began feeling sick. The U.S. Coast Guard evacuated the woman; she was taken to the hospital and treated.
The other passenger, on the Norwegian cruise ship Gem, had to be airlifted after suffering an unknown medical condition. The man was reported by crewmembers to be going into shock, and the Coast Guard airlifted him from the vessel, which was about 75 miles east of Wilmigton, North Carolina. He was taken to the hospital, but there was no further information on his condition.
A sudden illness can turn a leisurely cruise into a nightmare, and few passengers are prepared for an illness striking. Cruise officials must be able to provide emergency medical care when such an incident arises. In cases of severe illness, the cruise operator is responsible for having the passenger evacuated to an on-shore hospital.
The maritime attorneys at Schechter McElwee Shaffer and Harris represent passengers and crewmembers who have been injured on a cruise ship.
Maritime Group Releases Data Showing Progress In Anti-Piracy Efforts
After 12 months of fighting piracy, data released by the International Maritime Organization shows that some progress is being made.
The number of vessels captured by Somali pirate gangs dropped from 33 ships in February to 13 at the beginning of December, according to the statistics. Additionally, the number of seamen held hostage dropped from 733 to 265 in the same time period.
Reported attacks also declined from 45 a month in January 2011 to 14 a month in November, and the proportion of successful pirate attacks declined from 20 percent to 7 percent in that time period.
Throughout 2011, the IMO engaged at the political level through the United Nations Security Council to end the piracy epidemic. The group concentrated on increasing access to its guidelines and best management practices to ensure that members knew how to access naval protection and avoid piracy incidents. The IMO also address a sometimes contentious issue — using armed security guards aboard vessels.
Despite the advancements in the fight against pirates, it is evident to maritime piracy attorneys the end of pirate attacks isn’t even close. Attacks may have declined, but evidence also shows that Somali pirate gangs are starting to attack in groups to take ships faster.
When Will I Need A Jones Act Lawyer?
For the bulk of laborers who are injured in the course of their work on a vessel, the advisable course of action is to consult with a Jones Act lawyer as quickly as they can.
Maritime personnel who qualify as seamen are sheltered under a federal law referred to as the Jones Act, which allows for the compensation of this division of maritime employees in instances of injury. Even if you are sure of your status as a seaman and your rights under this legislation, an attorney ought to be talked to if you are injured while working. Because of the complications involved in this law, a maritime lawyer is best equipped to ensure you obtain the full reparations you are entitled to.
For What Purpose Should I Call A Jones Act Attorney?
Any person who is injured while operating on a boat or vessel and who is covered under the Jones Act should contact an attorney who is an expert in this maritime law specialty, which is a component of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920.
The law is designed to defend the rights of persons injured on the job at sea. It includes those determined to be seamen; however, the definition of seamen has been defined broadly. The qualifications determine the employee has to be assigned to and have a substantial connection with a vessel in navigation.
Even though you may think this does not apply to you, a Jones Act lawyer ought to be conferred with to determine whether or not you fall under this definition.
Why Would I Require A Lawyer?
If you are certain of your qualification as a seaman, you could conclude that settling the case on your own is the best option. There are several arguments why this is not always the preferred choice.
In order to recover compensation for injuries under the Jones Act law, the injured individual has to prove that carelessness on the part of his or her employer contributed to the accident. The negligence does not have to be major; even a little bit of carelessness that led to a seaman’s injuries can make the worker suitable for a claim in accordance to this law. However, proving neglect can be puzzling, and the task of showing and assembling evidence is required to hold to court practices and meet the plaintiff’s burden of proof. To add to the probability of a positive result for your suit, an attorney who is highly trained in these instances is best armed to deal with this undertaking.
Ahead of your case making it to court, you could be offered a settlement by your place of employment. It could be convenient to accept a rapid settlement without a maritime lawyer to speak on your behalf, however any settlement your employer presents could be far less than what you have entitlement to.
An experienced Jones Act lawyer will be on YOUR side, educating you of the best choices and your rights under the law, and vying for the complete amount of compensation you are entitled to under maritime laws.
Grievances under this maritime law additionally have a cut-off date. Your lawyer will be able to ensure that all specifications are adhered to, including filing within the statute of limitations, which is 3 years.
The Jones Act lawyers at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris LLP have decades of experience helping seamen who have been hurt on the job and are candidates for benefits under maritime law.
16 Confirmed Dead In Crash Of Italian Cruise Ship
Another body was found Tuesday, bringing the death toll in the Costa Concordia crash to 16. At least six of the bodies recovered in the Italian cruise ship disaster have yet to be identified and are presumed to be among the 17 still not accounted for.
The cruise ship struck a reef off the tiny island of Giglio on Jan. 13 when the captain deviated from the approved course. The ship ran aground and capsized, and thousands of passengers and crew were evacuated.
Search and rescue teams continued to look for the missing as salvage operations geared up to remove the half-million gallons of fuel still in the ship’s tanks. The siphoning of the oil was expected to get started Saturday and would coincide with continued search operations.
On Monday, officials and islanders reported an oily film on the water a few hundred yards from the cruise ship. Panels were placed in the water around the film to contain and absorb it.
Officials said the film didn’t present significant levels of toxicity to the protected waters around Giglio, part of a protected seven-island marine park that is home to abundant marine life.
The head of the national civil protection agency in Italy, Franco Gabrielli, said he asked the Concordia’s owner to come up with plans for the debris that’s floating away from the vessel and being hauled away daily by barge. The ship’s owner, Costa Crociere SpA, is part of Miami-based Carnival Corp.
Costa on Tuesday promised to give Concordia passengers a full refund of the cruise cost and on-board expenses, as well as reimbursement of travel and medical expenses.
The cruise ship injury attorneys at Schechter McElwee Shaffer and Harris represent crewmembers and passengers who have been injured in accidents on these types of vessels.
6 Dead, Captain Under Scrutiny After Cruise Ship Crash
Six people are dead and a cruise liner captain is being held on suspected manslaughter after the ship struck rocks or a reef and overturned off the Tuscan coast Friday. The search for 16 people who were still unaccounted for continued in rough seas Monday.
A prosecutor confirmed Italian authorities were also investigating accusations that the captain abandoned the cruise liner before all of its passengers had been evacuated, the penalty for which is up to 12 years in prison under Italian navigation code.The captain was reportedly seen by Coast Guard officials fleeing the scene as passengers still were being evacuated.
Captain Francesco Schettino has said he did not abandon the ship early and did everything in his power to save lives.
There were also questions about why the cruise ship was navigating so close to the eastern coast of the tiny Giglio island, where rocks and reefs make the waters dangerous for ships.
The cruise liner’s Italian owner issued a statement Sunday saying that there appeared to be “significant human error” on the part of Schettino, and that it “resulted in these grave consequences.”
The Coast Guard had retrieved the ship’s “black box,” which holds the recording of the vessel’s navigational details.
The maritime attorneys at Schechter McElwee Shaffer and Harris represent cruise vessel crewmembers and passengers who have been injured in accidents on a cruise ship.
Bill Would Mandate Rescue Vessels Stationed Within 3 Miles of Rigs Offshore
A bill in the U.S. House of Representatives sponsored by Louisiana Rep. Jeff Landry, R-New Iberia, would mandate that rescue vessels be stationed within three nautical miles of offshore drilling rigs.
The measure is an attempt to solve safety problems facing the offshore oil and gas industry, according to Rep. Landry. Safety concerns have increased since the April 2010 explosion of the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico.
A supply boat that was nearby at the time of the explosion helped rescue more than 100 workers; if the boat had not been so close, many more might have died on the rig in the blast.
The offshore oil and gas drilling industry is critical of the proposal, saying it will increase operating costs. Industry officials also say the measure is unnecessary because the U.S. Coast Guard already as the ability to launch rescue operations in the event of a tragedy, including helicopter search and rescue teams combing the water within a few hours of an incident.
The bill would require rescue boats to be stationed no more than 3 nautical miles away from offshore oil and gas drilling rigs while the rig is engaging in any critical activities, such as drilling, abandonment, etc. For less critical operations, the vessel can be within 12 nautical miles.
The maritime attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer and Harris represent workers injured in offshore oil rig accidents.
Crew Member On Freighter Hurt Off Coast Of California
A crew member was airlifted by a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter after suffering injuries on a freighter last week. The worker was severely injured after being knocked down on the vessel, crew members on the 700-foot MV Caribbean reported to the Coast Guard.
The vessel was located about 50 miles off the coast of Trinidad, Calif., at the time of the incident. According to reports, the sea had been rough and the worker lost his balance, suffering a fall. A Coast Guard helicopter met the freighter offshore and airlifted the injured man to the Coast Guard station; he was taken to a California hospital from there.
Crew members on container ships, freighters and cargo vessels may qualify as seamen under the Jones Act law, which requires that a maritime worker be assigned to a vessel in navigation and that a significant portion of his time is dedicated to the function of that vessel.
If deemed a Jones Act seaman, a crew member must receive maintenance and cure payments for medical and household expenses after an injury. He or she may also file a Jones Act lawsuit if there are allegations of negligence against an employer or vessel owner.
The Jones Act attorneys at Schechter, McElwee, Shaffer & Harris represent maritime workers who qualify as seamen, helping them recover compensation for injuries.
Technology Increasing Distractions On Vessels
Maritime attorneys are concerned by the rising number of maritime accidents that show a correlation between increased access to technology and increased distractions and risks of accidents for vessel operators.
One incident, reported by the London P&I Club in its Stoploss Bulletin, a pollution incident recently was caused by the distraction of a duty officer. During his watch, the officer was trying to make a Skype call on his laptop, and the officer of the watch was listening to a news bulletin on his laptop. He missed the radar target and VHF warning call, which lead to the accident.
In a separate incident, the officer of the watch used the Automatic Radar Plotting Aid to track 99 shops that were transitioning an anchorage, overlaid with radar images from the Automatic Identification System. The massive information intake resulted in an overload that the officer could not process, resulting in a maritime collision.
The London P&I Club notes an increase in crewmembers’ access to technology on vessels. While this has many benefits, it also comes with a concern about the use of that technology while officers should be focusing on work. Using it at inappropriate time can distract the officers from focusing on navigating and operating the vessel and lead to maritime accidents.
Along with the increased technology on vessels, many officers find they are unable to process large amounts of information. The information overload can cause confusion as crewmembers are unable to process the data, leading to unsafe decision making.
What’s Maritime Piracy And Can A Victim Take Legal Action As A Result Of It?
Maritime piracy has been a serious matter challenging the international sphere and global sectors for centuries. The pirates are no longer looking for gold or treasure, though. Piracy nowadays target vessels transporting oil or goods, and additionally crew members have been taken hostage.
Global attempts to fight piracy have been met with revived attack strategies instead of a minimizing of these horrific events. If you’ve been the target of a maritime piracy attack, a maritime attorney can help you determine whether or not you hold a legal claim.
Maritime Piracy Defined
Modern-day pirate events vary from what you see in films. Today, these criminals use more advanced weaponry and more often than not strike from scaled-down motorboats. Since 2007, hundreds of ships have been attacked and crew members taken hostage.
In 1982, the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea defined maritime piracy as a criminal violent act, devastation or detention for personal gain by crew of a private ship or aircraft against another ship or aircraft or its contents on the high seas.
These modern-day incidents are prominent in areas off the coast of Somalia and Nigeria, as well as between India and Sri Lanka, a place once known as The Pirate Coast. Maritime lawyers can very well assist survivors of maritime piracy against a vessel associated with an American company or a U.S.-flagged vessel, who could be eligible for compensation in accordance to the Jones Act or other legislation.
Worldwide Consequences Of Maritime Piracy
With the increasing reports of pirate incidents on worldwide commerce vessels, expenses for businesses that do overseas business are growing. Insurance premiums and freight costs are rising, in addition to the higher price of rerouting vessels and dispersing ransom for captive passengers.
Modern tactics for addressing pirate incidents are principally defensive in approach, including on-board deterrents such as security alert systems, fire hoses, deck patrols, electric screens and private marine security guards. More than a dozen nations have likewise escalated naval assistance and joined anti-piracy efforts in highly trafficked locales for small maritime criminal organizations.
The effects of these stepped up measures are considered short-term solutions, instead of targeting the problem of political and economic unrest in the countries these gangs originate from.
Can You File A Maritime Piracy Claim?
U.S. residents representing United states companies who have been victims of maritime piracy events have some options for recourse dependent upon on the conditions of the attack. Setbacks of lack of security or other claims of negligence may make the worker eligible for settlement in accordance to U.S. maritime law.
Settlement can be possible for cure and maintenance payments, in addition to other settlements. An experienced maritime lawyer could assist you to ascertain whether a survivor of piracy is entitled to file a claim under United States or other legislation and to what scope the settlement can be attainable.
The maritime lawyers of Schechter McElwee Shaffer & Harris L.L.P. have achievement in dealing with maritime piracy cases. Phone us right now to get the assistance you require in filing lawsuit.
Can Commercial Divers File Claims Under The Jones Act?
While commercial divers can suffer critical injuries and even die because of negligence on the part of their employer, not all divers qualify as Jones Act seamen and may not be eligible fo file claims under the law.
For a commercial diver to meet the requirements, he or she must first satisfy the first condition. This means the diver must be assigned to a dive vessel in navigation and contribute to the mission of the vessel. Because these requirements are vague and can cause confusion, an employer might try to deny Jones Act seaman status to an injured commercial diver to deny the rightful compensation. If the diver is unaware of his status under the law, it can be easy for an employer to get out of paying the deserved compensation.
Not all divers will be eligible for compensation under this law, though. Freelance divers or independent contractors may not qualify as Jones Act seamen, for example. Divers working for commercial or offshore diving companies might qualify, though. Factors such as the type of vessel being used in the dive operation and the location of the dive can also affect the determining of the diver’s status.
Maritime lawyers often find that employers will try to confuse commercial divers injured in accidents and try to convince him that he qualifies for compensation under other maritime statutes or workers’ compensation laws. If you were involved in a diving accident, it is critical that you consult a maritime attorney about your seaman status before making any decisions about filing a claim.