Maritime Matter of the Week

Yachting Monthly Magazine Team Explores Maritime Safety In An Explosive Way


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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 and admiralty attorneys, environmental groups and researchers are constantly searching for ways to help improve safety at sea. This time, a group of inquisitive sailing experts for a British magazine have decided to take a more ‘explosive’ approach to testing nautical safety standards – blowing up a 12 meter yacht.

In what would appear to any bystander as a scene straight out of an action movie, a vessel was filled with gas while a nearby sailor waited anxiously to detonate the explosives. The explosion is part of a series of ground-breaking experiments into maritime safety carried out over eight months by a team from Yachting Monthly magazine. The team took the same vessel, sank it, capsized it, ran it aground, set it on fire, and finally, blew it up. While it sounds more like they are tempting fate with their dangerous experiments, the team assures that all the trials were conducted in order to improve safety standards.

The team’s “Crash Test Boat” series recreated eight different maritime disasters, including a leaking hull and dismasted sailboat, in order to determine the best ways to handle and prevent accidents at sea. Beginning January 2013, the experiments will be documented together in a new book that is to be titled, aptly enough, “The Crash Test Boat.”

The data collected so far has already turned heads in the maritime community and the team has earned praise from both safety experts and inquisitive fans around the world.

“These are rare situations and when they do happen, people aren’t in a position to test every method for dealing with it,” said Yachting Monthly technical editor, Chris Beeson, to CNN. “For example, if your mast breaks off, the age-old answer was to use bolt croppers to cut away the rigging and prevent more damage. But we found that hanging over the edge of the boat while it’s rocking around like a fairground ride, with both hands on the croppers, wasn’t practical. A simple hacksaw, which you could use with one hand, was much more effective.”

According to Roger Brydges, a sailing accident investigator at the Maritime Accident Investigation Branch, experiments to this degree of detail have never been carried out before.

“Being able to monitor the effects and test a range of responses was invaluable,” said Brydges.

While the experiments will undoubtedly shed light into the nature of certain maritime accidents, some tragedies are still inevitable. When an accident at sea does take place, victims can turn to our admiralty attorneys for assistance in filing a case. Our lawyers have represented victims of incidents both at sea and in port and endeavor to help you obtain compensation for your pain and suffering.

To discuss your options and determine if you have a viable claim, contact Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. today to schedule a confidential consultation.


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