Flooding along the northern portions of the Mississippi river has led to extremely, and dangerously, high water levels down the river. For example, this past week the water level at Vicksburg was 7 feet above the flood stage.
During this period of high water, there have already been 3 incidents involving allisions with the bridge across the river in Vicksburg. Two of the incidents involved a tow vessel striking the bridge and then having barges break free, with multiple barges sinking. The other allision was caused by a towboat pushing a barge into the bridge. The Coast Guard is currently evaluating safety measures to protect against future accidents.
These Mississippi River accidents have not been limited to northern parts of the river. Indeed, the New Orleans area has also experienced similar incidents. On Friday morning, a barge broke free along the river in New Orleans and struck a docking area, causing several other barges to be knocked free.
Brown Water Seaman Injuries
Though no injuries were reported with respect to these incidents, they serve to illustrate the dangers faced by brown water seamen. River conditions are but one of the many potential causes of accidents by river workers. Such injuries can happen from any number of things: defective equipment, improperly trained co-workers, disregarding worker safety, failure to follow safety regulations, and improper vessel operation.
Luckily, the men and women who work on vessels on the rivers get the same protections as other seamen. If they qualify for seaman status, they can file Jones Act claims against their employers, can pursue unseaworthiness claims against vessel owners/operators, and are entitled to receive maintenance and cure if they suffer injuries on the job.
Contact a New Orleans Maritime Lawyer Today
If you’ve suffered injuries in a maritime accident, regardless of whether it occurred while working along the Mississippi River or while working offshore, The Mahone Firm is here to help you in this difficult time. Call (504) 564-7342 for a free case evaluation with an injury attorney today.