For one offshore worker, the miracle of the season is that he is still alive to experience it. After the boat where he was working had an explosion, crew members were left clinging to a life raft awaiting rescue.

The crewman was working on a shrimp boat on December 1, 2014 when the explosion occurred. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation by Coast Guard officials. Though his face and hair were not damaged in the explosion, he suffered 4th degree burns over 75 percent of his body, and his hands were severely injured. Doctors expect that he will need skin grafts to treat all the burns. He also experienced smoke inhalation from the explosion. The crewman is currently recovering in Baton Rouge General Hospital.

Workers who have been injured in accidents such as this one may have a legal right to compensation for their injuries. Through the Jones Act, offshore workers can file a negligence claim against the owner of the vessel, master or fellow crew members. Ship owners and companies are responsible for the safety of their seamen and workers. When these individuals are injured, the doctrine of maintenance and cure can provide free medical care and basic living expenses to injured workers.

Any crew person who has been injured due to the negligence of his or her company or ship owner, may seek the counsel of an experienced maritime law attorney. An attorney will consult with the injured to determine the legal options available to the worker.

Source: The Times Picayune, “For shrimper severely burned in boat explosion, ‘angels’ provide a chance for life,” Andrea Shaw, Dec. 22, 2014