Working aboard vessels on the powerful lower Mississippi River is fraught with danger. That was brought home to three families recently who lost their loved ones after two towing vessels collided on the river near Luling.
Working aboard a cruise ship or a luxury yacht sounds like many people's idea of a dream job. If you ever caught an episode of Bravo's Below Deck, you may have wondered just what you need to do to land such a job.
There are two sides to the perception of the seafaring mariner. There is the swashbuckling conquistador with a girl in every port.
If you were around in New Orleans in the 1970s, the vibrant port city was teeming with longshoreman offloading and uploading cargo on the docks, and when on leave, drinking in the Decatur Street riverside bars.
As you may already know, working aboard a vessel can be dangerous. In addition to regularly dealing with complicated equipment and needing specialized seafaring knowledge, things like rough seas, equipment malfunctions and a slippery deck can make life at sea more hazardous than routine. One of the many dangers you and other Louisiana boat workers must face is falling overboard.
If you work in the shipping industry in Louisiana, the Jones Act covers your medical costs, lost wages and daily living expenses in the event you become ill or injured, even if you are not onboard a vessel when your injury occurs. The Jones Act is a 1920 federal statute that applies the Federal Employer’s Liability Act to you.
Fire can be very dangerous if it breaks out on a boat on the water. If you are on board, you risk smoke inhalation, fire burns or injury from a fuel explosion, and since you are not on land, it is harder to seek emergency aid from Metairie first responders. This is why state law requires small boats, under certain circumstances, to have a fire extinguisher on hand.