Saturday, August 21, 2010

Jones Act Repeal Would Hurt Jacksonville Shipping Companies

Sen. John McCain’s proposed repeal of an 80-year-old maritime law could, if passed, shake up Jacksonville’s most entrenched trade lane and endanger three hometown shipping companies dependent on it. McCain, R-Ariz., argues that requiring all goods shipped between the nation’s ports to be transported by U.S.-built ships and sailed by American crews is protectionist and raises prices by excluding foreign competition. Supporters of the Jones Act counter that the law preserves security and the domestic maritime industries. The repeal of the law “would be devastating,” said Fred Schloth, Sea Star Line LLC’s assistant vice president of marketing. “When you look at [shipping] rates to Puerto Rico, they’re already competitive and can’t come down more.” Read more: Jones Act repeal would hurt local shipping firms - Jacksonville Business Journal

Recent Florida Boating Accidents

News on two recent boating deaths:

It is the second boating fatality in four days in the Fort Pierce area. On Saturday, commercial fisherman Cory Brangan, 26, of Fort Pierce, was found dead alone in a 20-foot-long fishing boat that ran aground before dawn on a spoil island in the Indian River Lagoon north of the North Bridge in Fort Pierce. “It is certainly tragic,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokeswoman Gabriella Ferraro said Tuesday about the deaths. “In both cases, the men had a lot of experience on the water. Brangan was a commercial fisherman and McPhall had 25 years on the water.”

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Seaman hit by ship 'tugger' sues two captains and a company

Claiming the "tugger" winch he was operating broke free from the vessel's deck and struck him, seaman Jesse Turner filed a Jones Act suit against the ship's owner and two captains. Turner, along with his wife Sonja, filed their suit against Cal Dive International and Captains Allen Brough and Glen Delahoussey on Aug. 16 in Jefferson County District Court. Court papers show Turner was a tension machine operator working aboard the vessel Rider owned by Cal Dive and captained by Brough and Delahoussey. On Aug. 20, 2008, Turner operated the ship's "tugger" winch laying pipeline between Alabama and Mississippi when it "broke free from the deck and slammed into him, causing in injuries," court papers say. "Unbeknownst to plaintiff, the tugger winch used to lay pipeline was improperly fixed to the deck," the suit states. "Cal Dive transported plaintiff ... past several facilities in order to take him to what they termed 'our hospital' in New Orleans." Turner claims the defendants negligently installed the winch and that the vessel was unseaworthy. He claims that two years after the incident he is still unable to return to work and is suing for past and future lost earnings and medical expenses. Huntsville attorney Hans Barcus of the Cantrell, Ray & Barcus law firm is representing him. Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court, has been assigned to the case.