A tugboat is a vessel that has the specialized task of moving larger maritime structures or vessels from one place to another. Tugboats move a wide variety of container ships, cruise ships, oil rigs, dry docks and any other structure that is difficult to navigate on its own. Tugboats often help these larger vessels navigate narrow channels in ports and rivers. These activities are often dangerous and often lead to injuries. A tugboat accident is a common occurrence in the maritime industry. A tugboat and a push boat (pusher) are different type of vessels that perform similar tasks. For this article, a tugboat accident also includes a push boat accident.
Tugboats have powerful engines for towing and pushing but can perform other duties such as firefighting and ice breaking. Types of tugs include oceangoing, harbor and river tugboats. Because tugboats push and pull structures that are not self-propelled, a tugboat accident is very likely to happen at some point. A tugboat accident can lead to serious injury or even death.
A tugboat accident can be caused by virtually any of the heavy equipment found on the vessel. The average tugboat is equipped with at least one hawser. The hawser is used for towing and has a large, thick cable attached to it. Most modern hawsers use metal cables instead of ropes. Ropes can be dangerous because of its weaker tensile strength than metal. Hawser cables are sources for a tugboat accident. Hawser cables are susceptible to snapping. Snapping is caused by the tremendous stress that that cable is subjected to in towing activities. In the event of a cable snap where a seaman is in the “snap-back” zone, they can easily be injured or killed. This tugboat accident is most common when an operator chooses to use second hand or less than adequate cables. Substandard cables or chains are a leading cause of the tugboat accident.
Failure to provide adequate equipment amounts to negligence on the part of the tugboat owner. The Lambert Firm represents victims of maritime accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a tugboat accident, contact the Lambert firm today.