A vessel owner must avoid placing a Jones Act seaman in danger intentionally and knowingly. That can include making the decision to set sail in adverse weather conditions knowing that the safety and security of the crews could be threatened. In that context, a new alert by the Coast Guard urges mariners to stay out of the waters off the coast of Florida, because of expected adverse weather, including a possible risk of thunderstorms.

Currently, a small craft advisory has been issued, warning small boats to exercise caution and stay out of the water on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  According to the Coast Guard, it will find it hard to send emergency rescue teams in adverse weather because aircraft will be grounded during thunderstorms, and rescue by boat may be delayed because of rough seas.


Maritime Accidents are Easy to Prevent

The days of venturing out into sea without the knowledge of what tomorrow’s weather will bring, are virtually over. Advancements in meteorology and weather prediction technologies ensure that mariners, shipping companies, masters and captains have access to up-to-date information and data gathering technologies that will keep them notified about any adverse weather they can expect. Navigational decisions must be made keeping weather and sea conditions in mind.

Unfortunately, that may not always happen.  In many cases, captain, masters and vessel owners may make decisions to travel on in spite of poor weather. Seaman may be injured because of rough seas which can cause slip and falls on deck, injuries from flying objects and debris, falls overboard and vessel tip-overs. In such cases, an experienced maritime attorney may be able to file a Jones Act claim against the employer.


Claims of Unseaworthiness Hold Vessel Owners Accountable for Incompetence of Crews, Captains

Incompetent decisions by captains and masters can also be the basis for a claim of unseaworthiness against the vessel owner.  In the past, seamen have filed claims for injuries sustained in maritime accidents that occurred because vessel captains made hazardous decisions to venture out, even in the knowledge of a building storm.

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 [email protected] or toll-free 24/7 (713) 364-0723. Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers