Thursday, July 31, 2008

Seamen infected with MRSA sue ship owners for $2 million Under Jones Act

GALVESTON - Two local seamen are suing a ship owner for $2 million for failing to inform them of an allegedly high presence of bacteria on the vessel. Orben Bounds and Shawn Owens were stricken with a staph infection while they working on the M/V Cheryl K between 2007 and 2008, court papers say. The personal injury suit against Cheryl K Inc. was filed in the Galveston County 212th District Court on July 25. "The M/V Cheryl K was inhabited with a virulent form of staph, called MRSA," the suit says, adding the medical problem does not have a cure and is potentially fatal.

Anniversary of "The Vessel of Death" - Also, Jury to be seated in Oct. 15, 2003 Staten Island Ferry Case

On a warm summer day much like this one 137 years ago today, more than 200 people boarded the Staten Island ferryboat Westfield at South Ferry in Manhattan. Many of them walked through to the bow of the ship, to enjoy the scenery and try to catch a cool breeze on the way to Staten Island.

Underneath the spot where they stood, just as the ship was about to leave its slip, the ship's boiler suddenly exploded, blowing a hole through the ship's wooden frame. The horrific destruction and severity of the injuries that killed more than 125 passengers and wounded dozens more created a scene described by the New York Times as "one of the most ghastly in human annals."

As an interesting historical footnote, among the injured passengers was Antonio Meucci, credited as being the "real" inventor of the telephone. As the story goes, Meucci was severely burned in the Westfield explosion, and as he was recovering from his injuries, his wife sold his original telephone prototype, along with models of other inventions, for $6, to ease the couple's dire financial situation. He was never able to afford a patent, and Alexander Graham Bell was subsequently credited with the telephone's invention. The Westfield explosion on July 30, 1871, still stands as the worst disaster in Staten Island Ferry history. Meanwhile, in a more recent ferry tragedy, jury selection is set to begin next week for personal injury suits against the city stemming from the deadly Staten Island Ferry crash of Oct. 15, 2003, which killed 11 passengers and maimed others.

Seaman claims poor lighting caused fall, files Jones Act suit

A seaman is claiming inadequate lighting caused him to fall and injure his back while serving aboard a ship off the Gulf Coast. Seeking $500,000 in damages, Gary Sheppard is suing Aramark Corp. and Noble Drilling Corp. He claims the companies' negligence caused him to trip and fall.Sheppard's lawsuit was filed under the Jones Act in U.S. District Court, Beaumont Division, on July 23.

Monday, July 21, 2008

After Quick Activation of Locating Device, Kauai Fishermen Saved by Coast Guard

All fishermen were reported to be wearing life jackets and are in good condition. The fishermen used a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) to send a distress signal. “Had they not had a PLB, we wouldn’t have gotten the notification until hours later when they would have failed to show up at home,” said Chief Petty Officer Seth Haynes, the Coast Guard District 14 search and rescue control chief.” We were able to respond in ten minutes rather than several hours.” The weather at the time was reported by the fishermen to the Coast Guard as strong, blustery tradewinds at 20 knots out of the north-northeast and seas of seven feet.

The use of this "personal locator beacon" probably saved their lives.


Friday, July 18, 2008

Felicia Bell Brookins - Shot At Crowley Maritime Talleyrand Terminal; Suspect Barricaded On Northside

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- As homicide detectives investigate the early-morning shooting of a woman in the parking lot at the Crowley Maritime terminal, near Jacksonville Port Authority's Talleyrand facilities, police said a man barricaded in a Northside home is a suspect in the shooting.

Udpate story.

Second Update.

Third Update.

Brookins has worked there about 15 years, Crowley spokeswoman Jenifer Kimble said. The business, which has about 70 employees, requires ID verification to enter past the parking lot. But Kimble said the shooter probably knew that and met Brookins as she arrived to start her work day.

Crews At Jaxport Move Pieces Of Massive Yacht

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Pieces of what will become a multimillion-dollar, mega yacht came through Jacksonville Port Authority on Wednesday. Crews meticulously moved four giant structures, which will become just a small section of the massive yacht.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Cynthia Woods Fatal Capsize

'Keels don't fall off boats. They should be built so they don't fall off.' In this seemingly innocent statement to the Houston Chronicle by the widow of the safety officer who died saving crew members of the Cape Fear yacht Cynthia Woods when it capsized during a race in the Gulf of Mexico, she has summed up the feelings of a growing number of sailors, both cruisers and racers.

Pilot files Jones Act suit for injury during boat transfer

The lawsuit was filed under the Jones Act, which among other things, allows injured sailors to obtain damages from their employers due to negligence caused by the ship owner, captain or fellow members of the crew.According to the plaintiff's original petition, Anderson was employed as a pilot with Sabine Pilots of Groves.

Monday, July 14, 2008

5-year-old drowns near Rainier

How the boy fell into the river remains unclear. Bystanders said they heard the boy was either riding on the back of a Jet Ski or being towed on a float behind a Jet Ski when he fell into the water. The boy was at the beach with some family members, said Columbia County Sheriff’s Deputy Troy Caldwell, who refused to release the child’s name or any other information.

Diver Working on Barge Brings Lawsuit under Jones Act

Citing the Jones Act, a seaman has filed suit against his employer, Bo-Mac Contractors, for injures he received while serving aboard a barge. Daniel Bartee's suit was filed June 18 in the Jefferson County District Court. According to his petition, on March 6, Bartee was a diver aboard a Bo-Mac barge operating in the Mississippi River when he was injured. The suit does not describe how Bartee's injuries occurred.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Seaman files Jones Act suit after back injury on ship

A Las Vegas seaman serving aboard a vessel owned by the Overseas Shipping Group filed a Jones Act suit against his employer after hurting his back.Warren B. Barney Jr. claims he injured his back because the OSG Intrepid, the vessel he was serving on, was unseaworthy. Barney's suit was filed July 8 in the Jefferson County District Court.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Anthony Tufo - Court officer is lost in fall from boat

By Peter Schworm Globe Staff / July 5, 2008 When a prisoner broke free and tried to flee Quincy District Court this spring, court officer Anthony Tufo immediately took off in pursuit. He chased the escapee down the courthouse stairs, then dove headlong to tackle him, crashing into a glass window in his attempt.The prisoner was quickly apprehended, and Tufo was rushed to the emergency room with lacerations on his head and face. Despite his injuries, he returned to work that same day. Tufo, 60, of Quincy, who is married with children, was the target of a massive search yesterday in Boston Harbor after he reportedly fell out of a 34-foot motorboat Thursday evening. Co-workers said he was just as devoted to his friends and family as he was to his job.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Rick Tatum - Golf course director dies in boating accident

Originally posted by ABC7 News on: Thursday, July 03, 2008 Last updated on: 7/3/2008 5:08:57 PM MARATHON, FL: A well known Southwest Florida golf club director died in a boating accident in the Florida Keys Wednesday. Rick Tatum suffered fatal injuries when two vessels collided off Marathon Key around 8:30 a.m., according to Florida Fish and Wildlife. Three other people were injured. Tatum was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

This is an update story.

Second update re: services.

Mathews man awarded $6 million in Jones Act injury lawsuit

NEW ORLEANS -- A federal judge awarded nearly $6 million in damages to a Mathews offshore worker who was burned over half of his body by a steaming chemical solution more than two years ago, when a hose burst aboard the ship he was working on in the Gulf of Mexico. Raymond Billiot Jr., a 37-year-old former maintenance technician for Schlumberger Technology Corp., was aboard the Deep Stim II, owned by Galliano-based Offshore Service Vessels, on May 9, 2006, when a rubber-hose fitting melted, dousing him with hot zinc bromide, his lawyer said. The chemical solution is pumped into drilling holes to allow oil to flow more freely.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker today reminded all Americans that the upcoming Independence Day Weekend should be a time for celebration with friends and family, not a time to visit the emergency room because someone didn't take prudent and easy precautions when traveling.... -- When engaging in recreational boating, a popular pastime during the summer months, wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and, again, do not operate a boat if you have consumed alcohol.

National Transportation Safety Board Washington, DC 20594 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2008 SB-08-31

North Florida Shipyards goes to court in Jacksonville Florida

According to the Marine Log, North Florida Shipyards of Jacksonville, Fla., appears to have had a successful day in court. According to papers filed with the Jacksonville Division of the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, North Florida Shipyards today brought an in rem action asserting a maritime lien of $1,225,897.76 against the M/V Paladin Shadow II, being the unpaid balance of $4,764,979 of billed ship repair services.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Seaman sues four defendants in Jones Act case

6/30/2008 5:00 PM By Marilyn Tennissen M/V Ms Mary Clint Guidry, a Louisiana resident, was working as a seaman aboard the M/V Ms Mary when he became injured. Guidry filed suit against C&G Boats Inc., C&G Marine Service Inc., MNM Boats Inc. and Freeport-McMoran Energy LLC, alleging the defendants failed to furnish him a safe place to work and a seaworthy vessel. The suit was filed on June 27 in Jefferson County District Court under the Jones Act. The Jones Act is a federal statute that, among other things, allows injured sailors to obtain damages from their employers due to negligence caused by the ship owner, captain or fellow members of the crew.