Maritime Matter of the Week

Coast Guard Searches For Missing Fisherman


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Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. is comprised of attorneys that are nationally-recognized industry leaders in the field of maritime and admiralty law. Our team of lawyers has over a century of combined experience, has successfully handled over 3,000 cases, and has recovered over 300 million dollars in damages for our clients.

Maritime accidents take place regularly, and not very many become breaking news. Our maritime attorneys have represented hundreds of individuals who have been hurt while out at sea. Sometimes, maritime accidents are the result of unforeseeable circumstances, including rogue waves or minor glitches in a vessel’s equipment.

However, there are times in which accidents result because of someone’s negligence or wrongdoing. Knowingly taking a vessel out to sea during unfavorable weather conditions, failure to repair damaged equipment, operating a boat or ship while under the influence, or going to fast for conditions are just some of the many factors that can cause injuries and fatalities on navigable waters.

Unfortunately, not everyone who is injured makes it back home. Sometimes, seafarers are lost out at sea and despite the best rescue efforts, are never found. When someone goes missing from a vessel, the victim’s relatives can pursue a disappearance case and may be entitled to compensation for their pain and suffering.

Sadly, the family of a fisherman may soon be contacting a maritime attorney of their own following the disappearance of the 56-year-old man who allegedly went overboard earlier today (January 16, 2013) in the Pacific Ocean off the Olympic Peninsula.
Coast Guard officials are searching for the man, who reportedly was not wearing a lifejacket. According to Petty Officer Nathan Bradshaw, the victim fell overboard from a crab fishing boat named Senja at around 1:30 a.m. today, nearly eight miles northwest of Cape Elizabeth, which lies north of Ocean Shores.

A Coast Guard helicopter from Astoria, Oregon, and a 47-foot motor lifeboat from Westport, where the Senja is based, have been searching for the missing man in 48-degree water, with six-foot waves and five-knot winds. The cold temperature of the waters and the lack of a life jacket drastically decrease the chances of survival for the man. However, officials say there is good visibility for the search and recovery effort.

Not much more is known about what caused the man to go overboard and his name has yet to be released pending the investigation and family notification.

Accidents on the high seas take place at a moment’s notice, but severe injuries and fatalities can often be prevented by following basic safety rules. Here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., we know all to well just how important wearing a life jacket and man overboard warning devices and drills can be to increasing the chances for survival out on the water. It is also a wise to let maritime authorities and loved ones know where your vessel will be in order to dispatch emergency crews quickly in the event an accident does occur.

Anyone who has been injured at sea or who has lost a loved one can seek help with any of our lawyers. We have over 165 years of combined experience in the field.

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