With a shared maritime border with Rhode Island and a shared international border with Canada, New York has been an ideal area for the maritime industry for centuries. The Port of New York, also known as PANYNJ, is the largest deepwater shipping port complex in the state and provides a host of maritime services, including two of its biggest services: cargo handling and commercial fishing. A multitude of maritime workers help keep the New York maritime industry a lucrative source for the state, but as with workers at other major ports, it doesn’t come without risks and hazards.
The Port Authority of New York
The Port Authority of New York, in collaboration with Port Authority of New Jersey, make up the largest seaport complex on the East Coast. It handles seven cargo terminals in both the New York and New Jersey area, including:
- Brooklyn Port Authority Marine Terminal
- Howland Hook Marine Terminal
- Port Newark-Elizabeth
- Port Jersey Marine Terminal
- Red Hook Marine Terminal
In 2010 alone, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey handled over 5 million cargo units.
Commercial Fishing in New York and New Jersey
According to the National Marine Fisheries Services, around 39.4 million fish was brought into New York via commercial fishing, and in New Jersey, close to 133 million pounds of seafood was caught and sold. There are over 2,000 commercial fishermen in each state who help bring billions of dollars in economic activities for the states.
Examples of Maritime Accidents in New York and New Jersey
With such high amounts of maritime activity, it’s not surprising that accidents and injuries occur often. For instance, in March of 2014, a collision occurred between a 984-foot cargo ship and a New York pilot. Four seamen were injured aboard the pilot vessel. The accident occurred when pilot vessel somehow smashed into the side of the cargo vessel.
Unfortunately, these other types of maritime accidents have occurred for decades. In the early 1930s, the Moro Castle vessel caught on fire on the New Jersey coast while on the way the New York. Many of the injuries sustained aboard the vessel could have been prevented if the fire had been detected earlier. Over 600 crew members and passengers were killed.
The aforementioned accidents are just a few of the thousands of accidents that New York and New Jersey seamen have experienced. To make matters worse, many of these accidents were caused due to negligent employers and unseaworthy vessels. If you’ve been injured while on the job, your employer may responsible for damages. For instances, getting injured because of lack of safety training, working aboard unseaworthy vessels, and forced to work in hazardous weather conditions may constitute employer negligence. For more information, it’s important to seek legal representation in order to fully understand your legal rights and options, and what you may be entitled to.
For additional resources on maritime workers’ compensation and rights, refer to our article Maritime Rights and Compensation.