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Safety Board Inquires Into Fatal Crewmember Accident

December 5, 2012

When a crewmember aboard a cruise ship, cargo vessel, fishing boat or any other sea going vessel becomes ill or injured, they have a right to seek help with a seafarer claims attorney to protect their rights. Unfortunately, many of the accidents that involve crewmembers are fatal, at which point the seafarer’s loved ones may have to file a lawsuit in order to get answers and compensation for their loss. At Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., our lawyers have represented thousands of crewmembers who have been involved in accidents both at sea and in port, and most of these incidents are due to negligence by either the maritime company or other workers.

Recently, a crewmember died in an accident aboard a vessel and the incident has the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (CBC) curious as to what exactly happened. The victim, a 41-year-old man, was killed following an accident onboard the bulk carrier Tecumseh Saturday morning in Thunder Bay. The vessel has already left the area en route to Windsor, where it will be met by Transportation Safety Board investigators on Tuesday.

According to Scott Bravener, the president of Lower Lakes Towing — the company that owns the vessel –the crewmember had just started working on the Tecumseh this season. He explained that the fatal accident took place while the ship was docked in Thunder Bay’s port.

“It was a tragic accident, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time,” said Bravener. “We are doing everything that we can to assist them.”

Because the seafarer accident is still under investigation, Bravener was unable to comment any further on the nature of the incident. However, a spokesperson for the Transportation Safety Board said Thunder Bay police had investigated the incident and the vessel departed for Windsor after loading a cargo of grain.

“More information came to us on Sunday,” said spokesman John Cottreau. “It was at that point that we decided that we were going to meet the Tecumseh in Windsor to do an evaluation, an assessment, of whether further steps are going to be needed.”

While the identity of the crewmember has yet to be revealed pending the results of the investigation, Thunder Bay police reported that the victim was from the Greater Toronto Area.

Once the investigation is complete, if the Tecumseh’s operators or other crewmembers are found to have contributed in some way to the fatal accident, they may be held liable for the incident. At this point, the victim’s surviving loved ones may have a case on their hands. They may be able to claim damages for their loss, which those who are found liable would be responsible for. Since the vast majority of accidents involving crewmembers are caused by someone else’s negligence or faulty equipment, chances are that the victim’s loved ones may be able to secure compensation for the tragedy.

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