Ferries Don’t Always Comply With Regulations
Most ferry passengers get on and off these watercraft without a second thought to their personal safety. Given the highly regulated safety standards for ferry owners and operators in New York, it stands to reason that a passenger’s feelings of safety and security while aboard these vessels is completely justified. Unfortunately, accidents have proven otherwise.
State, federal and international laws all regulate the operations conducted by ferry owners, thereby allowing for the safest, smoothest ride possible. Unfortunately, these regulations are not always followed, nor are they always as effective as they are intended to be. The results? Serious accidents, catastrophic injuries and even wrongful deaths.
Complying With U.S. Coast Guard Safety Regulations
To ensure that ferries are maintained and operated safely, the United States Coast Guard requires that they be equipped with fast rescue boats, life vests and escape slides in the event that an accident should occur. Furthermore, ferries are required by law to supply appropriate firefighting gear. In essence, these vessels and the workers who maintain them are expected to be prepared for any type of emergency situation, down to the very finest detail.
In line with the Coast Guard’s safety regulations, crew members of ferries are expected to conduct safety drills on a regular basis. These can include abandon-ship drills as well as firefighting drills, and any other type of precaution that would be necessary to ensure that a passenger’s safety is always maintained to the highest degree. Included in these expectations are the manning requirements projected by the U.S. Coast Guard. Specifically, ferries must carry a minimum number of seamen of designated ratings if they wish to sail legally.
Ferry crew members can sail only if they have received the appropriate certification from the basic safety training regulations instituted by the Coast Guard. All crew members are required to carry merchant mariners’ documents that denote their rating. The regulations for ferries are not few and far between, as evidenced by the information detailed above. In fact, so many precautions exist now that operation of these ships even relies upon adherence to security measures geared toward the prevention of terrorism.
How A New York City Injury Lawyer Can Help
Any number of circumstances could result in a ferry accident, many of which are easily preventable. Therefore, when disasters of this nature strike, it is absolutely critical that surviving victims seek the advice and support of a New York personal injury attorney at Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP. Anything from an engine room bilge accident to a cluttered car deck to improper maintenance could lead to a ferry accident, and it is our job to hold responsible parties liable for such types of negligence.
Take, for example, the high-speed commuter ferry that crashed into a pier near Wall Street in early January 2013. At the height of the city’s morning rush hour, more than 50 passengers were injured, at least two critically. While the National Transportation Safety Board conducts its own investigations on these types of matters, an attorney must be involved as well. Only with legal representation on their side can passengers in ferry accidents get the full compensation they deserve for the injuries they suffered.
At Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss, LLP, our personal injury clients benefit from the representation of a legal team that has been in the business for more than 60 years. At our firm, we provide serious help to victims of serious injuries, and we have recovered millions of dollars in doing so. If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of ferry accident in the state of New York, we encourage you to contact our law office today. We can meet with you for a free, no-obligation consultation to discuss the details of your case.