Two vessels collided in the Houston Ship Channel near San Leon on Thursday afternoon at about 1:55 p.m., causing the area where the incident occurred to shut down for about an hour.

The ships involved were an 892-foot container ship Montealegre and a 445-foot oil tanker Chembulk Houston . No spills were reported and the cause of the collision was not yet known. However, the most common causes of maritime collisions are:

  • Human error: This can include carelessness or just an error on the part of a crewmember.
  • Weather: Fog and high winds can be a factor in ship collisions. Although the the channel was closed for two straight days earlier this week due to heavy fog, in this case authorities have said that fog was not an issue.
  • Equipment failure: When engine, steering or navigation systems malfunction, accidents can easily occur, particularly in a highly trafficked waterway like the Houston Ship Channel.

Although no injuries were reported at the time of this particular incident, in the case of any maritime collision it’s important for all crewmembers to be evaluated by medical staff. The force of two such large vessels striking each other, even at a low rate of speed, can cause serious injuries that may not be immediately evident. Musculoskeletal pain, internal injuries and even brain trauma may not manifest until hours and in some cases days after an accident occurs.

The maritime injury attorneys at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers has spent decades helping injured seamen and their families to recover compensation after ship collisions and other accidents at sea. If you were working aboard a vessel that was involved in a collision, contact us today for help protecting your legal rights.