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“Man overboard!” The chilling call no maritime worker wants to hear

“Man overboard!” The chilling call no maritime worker wants to hear

When something goes wrong on a ship, it’s all hands on deck. You work together to contain the problem and hopefully come through it well. There are times, however, when conditions are dangerous and accidents happen.

For example, you and your crewmates are working on deck when you are suddenly struck by a large container from behind. You feel yourself slipping, and then you’re in the water. You hear your friend yell, “Man overboard” three times and you know things just got serious.

What can cause a maritime crew member to fall overboard?

There are many potential hazards aboard a ship. The things that can cause a serious incident include:

  •       Deck obstructions
  •       Overly slippery decks
  •       Lack of life-saving equipment, such as life jackets.
  •       Defective equipment
  •       A green (untrained or new) crew
  •       Low gunwales (sides) on the ship

While not always the case, many times, these hazards are a result of negligence.

Falling overboard can cause serious injuries or death

Falling overboard is considered an extremely dangerous maritime accident. Injuries that you can sustain by falling overboard include:

  •       Broken bones
  •       Concussions
  •       Spinal injuries
  •       Hypothermia

It’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible if you have fallen overboard while working on a ship. He will evaluate your injuries and decide on an expedient course of treatment.

What if negligence caused my injuries?

When you’ve been injured while working on a ship due to a fall overboard, it’s important to report the incident to the U.S. Coast Guard right away. If the fall was a result of negligence on board, you may be entitled to reimbursement for the cost of treating your injuries and any other damages you may have sustained. An experienced legal guide can help you pursue the matter. 

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