Charleston Boat Accident Lawyers
Commercial vessels of all sizes and configurations are operated night and day on the high seas and navigable waters. These commercial ships, dredges, barges, tugs, fishing vessels and more, must all share the waters with each other, with military vessels, and with all manner of pleasure vessels.Commercial boat accidents take on many forms, from collisions and allisions, explosions, equipment malfunctions, unsafe work practices, damaged or otherwise deficient equipment or rigging, or unseaworthy conditions, and can result in injury to captain, crew, or other workers to vessel sinkings, to cargo and other property damage. Therefore, prevention of collisions and other accidents is always a high priority.
On the high seas, operation and navigation of vessels of all types are governed by the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972 (72 COLREGS), often called the International Rules or the International Rules of The Road. On the inland waters of the United States the Inland Rules control.
These navigation Rules govern steering and sailing, lights and shapes which must be displayed by vessels in certain circumstances, as well as sound and light signals which must be given by vessels in particular circumstances. The purpose of the rules is the prevention of collision.
Collision is not the only danger. Vessels can avoid collision with other vessels and still sustain damage due to striking a fixed object, grounding, sinking, or suffering other perils of the seas.
It has been remarked that commercial vessels, being engaged in a regular course of business, are often operating on the water day and night and in all kinds of weather, and commanded by experienced and licensed mariners. On the other hand pleasure vessels may be operated far less frequently by mariners of widely varying experience and training. The operator of a commercial vessel is expected to observe the Rules of the Road and to demonstrate a level of professional competence and judgment equal to the conditions on the water.
When accidents do occur, crew members often are injured as a consequence. Crew members injured in a commercial boat accident are likely Jones Act seamen and entitled to certain unique maritime remedies.
Charleston, South Carolina Attorneys Experienced in Commercial Boat Accidents
Whether caused by collision, wake damage, or other perils, when accidents occur call on experienced admiralty counsel at John Hughes Cooper, P.C. Telephone 843-883-9099 to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation.