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December 29th, 2009

Worker Crushed to Death in Tugboat Accident in New Jersey

A tugboat worker from New York City was killed in a tragic accident on the Hackensack River in New Jersey last week.  The deckhand Ricardo Young, was apparently working to tighten the cables between his tugboat and the vessel it was pulling, when he became entangled in some of the cables. He received serious injuries during the entanglement. A crewmember, who went back to check on him, found him unconscious and tangled in the ropes. Crewmembers tried to revive Young, but he never regained consciousness. Young was working for Moran Towing Corporation.

It doesn’t make headline news when deckhands are seriously injured or killed while discharging their duties. These crewmembers who perform a variety of jobs on a vessel are at risk for slip and fall accidents, crushing injuries, blunt force trauma injuries and other injuries because of their constant exposure to different type of work environments.

Maritime attorneys will want to know

  • Was Young was trained to perform the job he was doing at the time of the accident?
  • Was there any way this accident could have been prevented by having extra crewmembers help him?

These are pertinent questions, and the family of this deckhand deserves to have answers to these.

The work that deckhands do is not seen as specialized, and is frequently underappreciated, except by the workers themselves and their families who know the immense toll the work can take. Deckhands work with heavy equipment that they are constantly hauling around a vessel. The mooring lines can be strong, tense and powerful enough to rip one’s arms off. The work can be non-stop.

Work with mooring lines doesn’t have to be so hard. Workers unions have been petitioning legislators and maritime companies to use newer technologies to minimize the risks to workers. As maritime lawyers however, we are not surprised that these technical advancements still seem to be a long way from implementation.

Our maritime attorneys represent injured cargo and cruise ship crew members, tanker and freighter crews, offshore rig workers, jack up rig workers, barge and tugboat operators and other maritime workers who qualify for Jones Act seaman status.  Please contact us for a free evaluation of your case at info@smslegal.com.

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