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4 Causes of Commercial Fishing Accidents 

Commercial fishing is considered to be among the most hazardous occupations in the United States. There is a 29 times higher fatality rate than the nation’s average. Some of the most common dangers for this field include falling overboard, incidents with machinery, and vessel disasters. Throughout recent years, laws have developed and evolved to make it possible to punish those responsible for wrongdoing and get compensation after an accident. Workers in this industry have certain standards and safety regulations they must follow.

On-Deck Injuries 

On-deck incidents have caused the largest number of hospitalized injuries that were non-fatal. About 12 percent of the fatal injuries that occur during commercial fishing fall under this category. Some of them are a result of wet and pitching decks that cause workers to fall, slip, or trip. The cables and high tension lines that run through winches and hydraulic haulers may result in contact injuries such as amputations and death.

Vessel Disasters 

Between the years 2000-2014, about 50 percent of the fatalities were among commercial fishermen. However, there are many current U.S. Coast Guard safety regulations that focus on individuals surviving a vessel disaster. The Coast Guard has authority through the Commercial Fishing Industry Vessel Safety Act of 1988 in order to put together life-saving regulations that govern commercial fishing vessels. Since the development of this safety act, commercial fishing vessels have been required to hold emergency equipment that includes immersion suits and life rafts.

Man Overboard 

Fatalities that arise from man-overboard accidents were considered the second leading cause of death for commercial fishermen around the nation between 2000 and 2014. The unfortunate fact is that none of those individuals were wearing a personal flotation device at the time. The fact that the cold water can cause the ability to halt movement makes it extremely necessary to wear such a device, in order to buy time until help arrives.

Diving Accidents 

Even though diving accidents account for just 5 percent of the fatalities in the commercial fishing industry over the last several years, these accidents do occur regularly for fishermen who are involved in dive fisheries. Common causes of death include entanglement, running out of air, and equipment malfunction.

It’s important not to dive alone, especially if you have little experience. Also, ensure that you have the proper gear for the type of fishing you’ll be doing and the environment. You can conduct emergency drills that will help you get familiar with bailout and various other emergency procedures. It’s a good idea to take certification courses and other training, and may be required to conduct the type of work in which you’re engaged.

Maritime Law Regarding Commercial Fishing Accidents

There are numerous laws set in place over the last few decades that deal with maritime law, including commercial fishing industry laws. These protect workers who have been injured and also provide compensation for loss of life to the families. It’s important to learn as much as possible about these laws if you work in this field, such as from a reputable lawyer at Naylor Law.