Personal Injury & Medical Malpractice Blog

Thursday, April 27, 2017

NYC Tugboat Worker Loses Arm in Horrific Accident

What are some dangers of working on tugboats?

An urgent situation recently unfolded when a tugboat worker got his arm caught in a rope.  NYPD Harbor Unit responded quickly to find a mariner with his arm disconnected from his body.  The tugboat was operating near the Statue of Liberty in the evening hours when the worker’s arm got snagged on a rope and became severed below the elbow.  Arriving officers applied a tourniquet to stop the flow of blood and the injured worker was transported to the hospital.

This recent New York City tugboat accident serves as a reminder of the dangers that tugboat workers face.  Tugboats hold an important place in the maritime industry.  These boats are often used to tow or push larger vehicles.  Without tug boats, larger ships could find themselves stranded or unable to navigate harbors.  Tugboat workers, however, must maneuver in tight spaces and could sustain injuries on the job.  Liability for tugboat accidents will depend on the tugboat workers’ employer, who is often a city or municipality.

Hazards Faced by Tugboat Workers

All maritime jobs come with some inherent risks.  On tugboats, the amount of equipment and lack of space can lead to accidents.  Some of the top causes of tugboat accidents include:

  • Collisions:  Tugboats may collide with other ships or objects.  These boats must often navigate tight spaces, raising the risks of boat collisions.
  • Mechanical failures:  Tugboats require several key pieces of equipment to perform their job.  When equipment fails, it can have devastating effects.  Defective equipment or equipment that has not been properly maintained causes many tugboat accidents.
  • Capsizing:  As a smaller boat, tugboats are in danger of capsizing if they find themselves in open waters or on a rough harbor.  Capsizing creates a critical situation for all workers aboard a tugboat.
  • Falls:  With several employees all working in the confines of a small ship, slip and falls and overboard accidents become commonplace.  Falls into objects or off the boat may lead to death or serious injury.

Tugboat accidents are often complex legal matters involving issues of maritime and municipal liability. Contact an experienced NYC personal injury attorney for assistance with your tugboat or other work related accident.  


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