Tugboat May Have Been Without a Licensed Captain When It Hit a Louisiana Bridge

A towboat transporting a crane that struck a bridge might not have had a licensed captain onboard, according to a report in the March 2014 Professional Mariner.

According to the report, on October 25, the towboat was traveling west on the Harvey Canal, pushing multiple barges, when a crane on one of the barges struck the Lapalco Bridge.

“The top portion of a crane on a barge struck the catwalk area that is suspended below the bridge girders,” said Donald Hogan, assistant director of the streets department in Jefferson Parish.

The Times-Picayune reported that the towboat was being operated by a deck hand and had no licensed captain aboard at the time of the wreck.

The incident was still under investigation by the Coast Guard at the time of this report.

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Worker Suffers Head Injury in Portland Shipyard Accident

A March 29 accident aboard a large ship in dry dock left a Portland shipyard worker with severe head injuries, according to OregonLive.com.

The Portland Fire & Rescue Technical Rescue Team, which responded to the scene, said it was unclear whether the man fell down the stairs or was injured in some other way. Despite initially devising a high-angle rope system to rescue the worker due to limited access inside the ship and the severity of his injuries, the man refused and instead returned to the ship’s deck under his own power.

Not all maritime injuries are suffered out at sea. Many are the result of onshore maritime accidents involving land-based workers, such as dockworkers and shipbuilders, injured on or near navigable waters. Such incidents fall under a type of workers’ compensation known as the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.

Sponsored by Latti & Anderson LLP, located in Boston, Massachusetts.

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