Posted by : attorney stevelee 23 April 2019

Shrimping Vessel Accident Statistics in the Gulf of Mexico

Commercial fishing is one of America’s most dangerous occupations, and shrimp boat accidents are unfortunately quite common. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 164 commercial fishing deaths in the Gulf of Mexico between 2000 and 2014.

Shrimp Boat Accident Causes

Between 2010 and 2016, Gulf shrimping fleets experienced more fatalities than any other type of commercial fishing vessels. The 25 shrimp boat deaths occurring during this period constituted half of all fishing vessel deaths in the Gulf region.

Among shrimp fishers, leading causes of death included:

  • Vessel disasters. Sinkings, capsizings, fires, groundings, and other hazards that forced crewmembers to abandon ship accounted for 51 percent of all fatalities.
  • Drownings. Most of the falls overboard that led to drownings were caused by loss of balance, or being struck by or entangled in gear. None of the drowned crewmembers were wearing personal flotation devices. At 27 percent, drownings were the second leading cause of shrimp boat fatalities.
  • Onboard injuries. Onboard injuries, caused by contact with equipment, getting caught in winches, and being struck by objects, led to 18 percent of fatalities.

Protecting Shrimp Boat Workers

Vessel operators have an obligation to protect workers by providing them with proper safety training, adequate personal protective equipment, safety devices on deck machinery, man-overboard alarm systems, and rescue equipment.

They also have a responsibility to ensure the integrity of the vessel, routinely inspect electrical wiring, hoses, and fuel lines for any damage, and perform regular maintenance to prevent fires and explosions.

If you were injured due to an accident aboard a shrimping vessel, you’re entitled to compensation for your housing costs and medical care under the Jones Act. In the event of the loss of a loved one, you may pursue a wrongful death claim to recover damages for loss of inheritance and support.

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