Last Thursday, on November 8 at 4:29PM, passenger ferry Alboran – operated by Naviera Armas, which owns and operates more than a dozen ferries in the region – collided with a private recreational boat off the Arucas coast, near the Grand Canary Islands.
According to reports, the impact caused three passengers to fall overboard. Within one minute of the accident (at 4:30PM), Spanish Coast Guard authorities were notified of the emergency situation and two coastguard vessels and a coastguard helicopter were launched to provide immediate rescue assistance. All overboard passengers were rescued and brought to Doctor Negrin Hospital. Reports indicate that one passenger was treated for a knee injury, while another passenger (who did not fall overboard) was later treated for an anxiety crisis following the collision accident.
Investigators are currently looking into the cause of the accident.
Though we are pleased to learn that the emergency response was immediate and led to the successful rescue of all overboard passengers, we are unnerved by the fact that the collision accident occurred in the first place – there is no indication that the weather conditions were extreme at the time, and as such, it seems likely that the collision resulted from some unspecified negligence.
Given the circumstances, those who were injured may have legitimate claims against Naviera Armas (and possibly, the operator of the recreational boat) for damages.
Vessels Must Be Properly Maintained and Steered to Prevent Collision Accidents
In the present case, it is not yet clear what caused Alboran to collide with the private recreational boat, but it’s possible that the negligence of crew members or others may have contributed to the accident. Ferry operators have a duty to properly maintain their vessels, and to safely navigate trafficked waters, to avoid exposing passengers (and others) to an unreasonable risk of harm. Most such accidents can be avoided so long as the crew carefully adhere to the processes and standards imposed on them by their training.
If Alboran could not alter course due to having experienced an unexpected mechanical breakdown or defect, then it could be argued that the mechanical issues should have been discovered and corrected prior to the accident. Regular and comprehensive inspections must be performed to ensure that all equipment is in good working order.
If Alboran simply failed to chart a clear, safe course – and thereby collided with the recreational craft – then the crew may have been negligent. Ferries must move at reasonable speed for the circumstances (i.e., visibility, currents, etc.) and must leave sufficient room to change course and avoid a collision.
We Can Provide Legal Assistance
If you’ve been injured in a ferry collision accident, or any other collision-related accident while traveling at-sea, then you may have a right of action against the vessel operator for damages as compensation for your injuries.
Here at Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A., our team of attorneys has over a century of combined experience litigating injury claims on behalf of those who have suffered harm while traveling aboard ferries, cruise ships, recreational craft, and cargo ships, among other vessels. We are maritime law experts – we have litigated over 2000 cases and have been recognized as one of the top law firms in the United States for Maritime and Admiralty Law by U.S. News and World Report. Our results speak volumes. Since our founding, we have secured significant verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients.
The present case occurred off the coast of the Grand Canary Islands, in Spanish waters. If you’ve been injured abroad, it’s important to understand that you may still have a right to compensation. Here at Lipcon, we have successfully handled claims throughout the United States and abroad.
Ready to speak to an attorney about your case? Contact us to request an appointment with an experienced maritime lawyer.