A life on the water is not an easy one. Everyone from the captain of a vessel to the deckhands face risks that no landlubber would see or even understand, and caution combined with experience can easily save lives on the sea, the river or other bodies of water hosting American trade.
You don't have to be miles out to sea to have the protection of admiralty law. The tradition of rules covering activities on ships and the water goes back thousands of years, but the modern versions are more than extensions of history. American admiralty law is there specifically to protect American workers with jobs that help keep the country's trade and transport moving.
It's pretty easy to know your rights at work when you have your feet squarely on land. But a lot of workers in Louisiana, like many in Florida and California, spend a lot of hours in the territorial waters of their state. Some may even end up in international waters in search of fish below the surface or oil beneath the rocks.
Disputes in a specific community or parish on land are often complicated, but it is usually a simple process to figure out which courts can resolve them if no other method works. Things can become less sure, however, when disputes involve territory covered by water.
Higher-than-average rainfall has resulted in significant flooding along the Mississippi River in recent weeks. This has caused levees to break -- putting residents, crops and marine life in peril. It has also resulted in shipments being delayed. That has caused prices at the store to soar. Maritime workers have been at an increased risk of getting hurt as they've attempted to navigate these waters.
If you work as an able-bodied (AB) seaman or have another position on a seafaring vessel, at some point while carrying out your duties, you might get injured. What happens next?
Being employed as an offshore oil rig worker is dangerous. Commercial divers have perhaps one of the most hazardous jobs of all though.
Ocean fishing is often referred to as one of the most dangerous professions in the world. It takes lives and leads to serious injuries. The high demand for fish means that it's a viable career and a lot of people still turn to this trade, but they have to understand the risks.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there's no profession that's most dangerous than those in the commercial fishing industry. Their data shows that those who hold this role have a fatality rate that is 29 times this country's national average for workers. Since this profession is so dangerous, the CDC had taken it upon itself to identify when safety lapses are most apt to occur and how they can be prevented.
A U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson announced on Jan. 19 that they had suspended their search for two workers who went missing after the boat that they had been working on capsized on Jan. 16.