A large commercial vessel reportedly capsized Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf of Mexico with 18 crewmembers onboard. The vessel has been identified as the SEACOR POWER, an offshore lift boat operated by SEACOR Marine, LLC. The lift boat capsized south of Grand Isle, Louisiana after a severe storm passed through the area. The severe weather has caused extensive damage and multiple vessels may have been impacted.
The U.S. Coast Guard is undertaking efforts to rescue the crewmembers aboard the capsized vessel. A search plane has been sent to the area and U.S. Coast Guard officials from Texas have joined in the effort. Reportedly, 7 of the 18 crewmembers have been rescued. The status of the other crewmembers remains unclear.
The maritime attorneys of Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP have represented thousands of maritime workers and their families for serious injuries and death on the water. Attorney Matthew Shaffer anticipates that SEACOR Marine will likely file a Limitation of Liability complaint to limit its damages in connection with the capsized vessel. The Limitation of Shipowners’ Liability Act allows a vessel owner to limit its liability for damages to the value of the vessel involved in the occurrence giving rise to the action. If successful, this legal maneuver could serve to limit the rights and remedies available to the crewmembers on board the capsized lift boat and their families. “In my 30-year maritime practice, I have seen it done and defeated. We routinely fight Limitation of Liability complaints on behalf of individuals hurt in maritime accidents throughout the country. Privity or knowledge on the part of the vessel owner strips the owner of its ability to limit its responsibility for damages,” said Matthew Shaffer.
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Matthew D. Shaffer is a Proctor in Admiralty and is board certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. If you were or a loved one was injured or killed in a maritime accident, contact Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, LLP today for a free case evaluation at 1-800-282-2122.