Tragedy has struck on the Louisiana waters. A tugboat captain passed away from injuries received when his tugboat was involved in an accident with an oil well. His tugboat was attached to a barge that carried over 90,000 gallons of crude oil. The source of the explosion is still being investigated but it is believed that the tugboat and barge hit a natural gas wellhead or pipeline when the offshore accident occurred.
After suffering from burns over much of his body, Chad Breaux died during surgery. He was known as a man who had worked or been around water most of his life. Other workers in the industry thought he was a good guy and felt that the accident could have happened to anyone in their line of work. One thing is certain, the loss of one crew member is a loss to many.
It is not clear if this accident was caused by the negligence of the owner, master or fellow crew members. When accidents are the result of negligence, the Jones Act allows the injured to make a claim for compensation based on that negligence. Ship owners are responsible for making sure their vessels are safe places for their workers. When workers on an oil platform are injured, they are entitled to free medical care and basic living expenses while recovering from injuries.
When an individual is injured, it is important to know the legal options available. Whether the injury involves tugboats, backup rigs or drill ships, an attorney can help assess your rights under the law and get the compensation that you deserve.
Source: The Times Picayune "Tugboat captain who died month after Lafitte explosion wpent life on water, friend says," Andrea Shaw, April 11, 2013