On Wednesday, December 30, 2015, The U.S. Coast Guard and several good Samaritans were searching for a person who went missing after a workboat capsized Wednesday morning in the Mississippi River near the Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge.
Four people were on board when the 24-foot workboat capsized. Good Samaritans helped to rescue three of the people, all of whom were reportedly wearing life jackets, but the fourth person has not yet been found. The cause of this incident is currently under investigation.
Maritime work can be dangerous, and it is imperative for employers and workers alike to take precautions to prevent tragic accidents from occurring. There are several tips that vessel owners, workers, and passengers should heed to prevent being a victim of a bad situation:
• If possible, stay with the boat or vessel. Sea searches are conducted on the water and through the air; thus the best way to be spotted is to stay with the vessel since it is much easier to spot.
• If the vessel has capsized, try to climb out of the water to the top of the hull. Hypothermia is a condition in which the body’s temperature drops below 95 degrees, and it can set in just a few minutes if the water is cold. Cold-shock and swimming failure can occur very quickly in cold temperatures.
• Always wear personal flotation devices.
• If possible, keep a readily accessible waterproof bag on board in case of an emergency. Be sure to include flares, distress signals, a whistle, and a registered emergency position-indicating radio beacon.
However, accidents do happen. Workers whose jobs take them out on the water are afforded protections under the law and are entitled to compensation if they are injured on the job. If you or a loved one has been injured while working on the water, the New Orleans maritime attorneys at The Lambert Firm, PLC will fight to protect your rights. Call us today for a free consultation.