Everett, Washington is home to the one of the largest marinas on the west coast, as well as home to the Naval Station Everett, a United States Navy Homeport. The maritime industry is abundant in Everett, with the Port of Everett situated on 3,000 acres on the Puget Sound. From shipping cargo, commercial fishing, vessel maintenance, and more, a host of maritime work is done daily at the Port of Everett. Yet, just like other major maritime areas, Everett has its fair share of maritime accidents and injuries, and similar to other companies, many of these accidents stem directly from employer negligence.
Maritime Accidents and Injuries in Everett
Maritime accidents have been constant in Everett for decades. For example, in 1949, a commercial fishing vessel from Everett with eight crew members were victim to a fatal accident on the way to Alaska. Although there were three survivors, five of the crew members didn’t make it back. An overloaded, unseaworthy vessel was thought to be the cause.
Unfortunately, unseaworthy vessels in Everett are the cause of an array of maritime accidents and injuries, particularly on crabbing boats. Commercial crab fishing is already considered one of the most dangerous occupations in the world, but coupled with a vessel that’s not safe makes it an extreme risk for anyone aboard. For instance, a hydraulic leaked caused a crab sorting table to fall on a seaman who was attempting to repair a defect in the table. Crab boats, along with all equipment aboard, must be well-maintained and safe for seaman to use in order for the vessel to be considered seaworthy. Seamen who are injured due to unseaworthy vessels are entitled to damages under general maritime law.
In another commercial crabbing accident, 30-year-old Troy Collins, of Everett, along with five other crew members were killed when their vessel capsized while they were fishing for crab in the Bering Sea. The crew was aboard the Northwest Mariner when the accident happened, and investigators speculated that the cargo may have been stored improperly or overloaded. The other crew members involved in the fatal accident include Bob Peterson, of Seattle, Bruce Ford, of Edmonds, Larry Johnston, of Bellevue, Captain Jim Foster, of Seattle, and Rob Olsen, of Seattle.
When accidents occur because of unseaworthy vessels, the injuries can be significant. Death is a frightening but real possibility for Everett seamen working around unsafe equipment. Severe injures are also common after maritime accidents, including disfigurement, loss of limbs, traumatic brain injury, hypothermia, and more.
Legal Resources in Everett
Injuries sustained during maritime work usually require extensive medical treatment, which can quickly add up to a substantial amount in damages. General maritime laws and regulations such as the Jones Act were created to ensure that injured seamen are protected in the event of an injury sustained while on the job. For additional resources and information regarding seaman rights and compensation, see our article Maritime Rights and Compensation.