Mourners Pay Respects to Victim of Fatal Ferry Boat Accident in Germany

Lipcon, Marguiles, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

There has been a lot of talk recently about cruise ship accidents, sexual assault crimes on the high seas, overboard incidents, and other cruise industry-related mishaps, but while all the attention has been geared toward reprimanding liners for their lack of safety protocols, other accidents are taking place on other maritime vessels, including ferry boats. Earlier this month, a middle-aged man was killed in Germany in a freak ferry boat accident, showing just how easily it can be to suffer an injury on a vessel.

The victim, a Newtownabbey man named Warren Green, was killed on May 6 after slipping off his bicycle while boarding a ferry and sustaining head injuries when he fell off the boat. The 43-year-old had been using the ferry to get to and from work, but the details surrounding his accident still remain somewhat mysterious to his loved ones.

Hundreds have now gathered to pay their final respects to Green. Local UUP councilor John Scott, a friend of the ferry boat accident victim, said: “There wasn’t one seat left in Abbey Presbyterian Church in Monkstown, which holds hundreds.”

Scott explained that Green had worked on different contracts around the world, spending most of his life working overseas.

“He started working on another contract in Germany last November and there were a lot of work colleagues over from Germany,” he added. “Rev John Seawright conducted a small part of the service in German to accommodate them. It was very, very sad for the family. His mother and father, who are both elderly, are devastated. Work colleagues from all around the world were there. He had lived with his mum and dad when he was in Northern Ireland. Warren was a fella who lived life to the full and had many friends. His parents said he was in a very happy period of his life.”

Ferry boat accidents are more common than anyone might imagine and can result in tragic injuries. Last year, our maritime accident lawyers reported on  tragic crash in the waters of Hong Kong after a ferry boat collided with a personal watercraft  in October, killing 39 people. New findings suggest that the accident was the result of “systemic failings” in the nation’s marine department.

The vessels, the pleasure boat Lamma IV, and the high-speed ferry, the Sea Smooth, collided in Victoria Harbour off of Lamma Island in Hong Kong on Oct. 1, National Day holiday. The ferry crashed into the Lamma IV, which had been transporting Hong Kong Electric company workers and their families who had decided to celebrate the holiday by going out to sea to walk fireworks.

The tragic incident has been called the worst maritime accident in Hong Kong in over 40 years, and many have questioned the safety of the Harbour as a result. Victoria Harbour is one of the world’s busiest ports, with constant traffic between cargo vessels, ferries and personal boats.

This deadly accident, the recent one in Germany that claimed Green’s life, and several others have brought to light the dire need to step up maritime safety across the world, not just in the United States. Most accidents that occur in the open waters are the direct result of someone’s negligence. Whether pilot inexperience, alcohol intoxication, speeding, or distraction were the cause, too many innocent people have lost their lives in a maritime accident because of someone’s wrongdoing.