Being situated along the Gulf of Mexico, Texas is home to some of the largest ports in the county where port traffic is consistently growing. Texas ports bring in millions of tons of goods and allow cargo to travel internationally with ease. Ports are dynamic environments with complex waterways and marine terminals that have high vehicle traffic. With more activity and growth at our Texas ports, officials must be constantly aware of health and safety best practices for the workers who ensure the cargo transportation industry remains reliable. Avoiding port accidents is critical to peak operation, as many port accidents can lead to serious injuries and fatalities on the water as well as on land. There have been many recent port accidents in Texas that have caused property damage, severe injuries, and even death. If you or a loved one is injured in a port accident, call our office today for a free consultation. We are ready to guide you and your family through the process of obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.
Corpus Christi Port Accidents
Corpus Christi is very familiar with port accidents as they occur each year with varying degrees of severity. In March of 2021, an oil tanker lost power while going through the Port of Corpus Christi resulting in damage to a pier at the MODA Modstream Ingleside Energy Center. Even though the boat merely clipped a structure at the end of a pier, the vessel was large enough to seriously damage the pier and cause disturbances to the port. Other Corpus Christi port accidents have been worse and even deadly, however. In August of 2020, four crewmembers died and many others were injured aboard a dredge boat in the Corpus Christi Ship Channel when the vessel struck a pipeline that triggered an explosion and fire. The U.S. Coast Guard had to close the port’s inner harbor and establish a safety zone for all other vessels in the area. It took an entire day for emergency responders to battle the fire aboard the vessel which then split in two and sank. Not only did four people lose their lives, more than 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled into the water and had to be removed by an oil spill response team.
The Dangers of Port Work
In general, workers in ports and marine terminals have higher fatality, injury, and illness rates when compared to workers in other U.S. industries. The average rate of annual fatal injuries for workers in the maritime industry is five times that of the overall U.S. workforce. For non-fatal injuries, the rate is nearly double that of any other U.S. workforce category. Working at a port in the United States comes with incredible danger, and safety must be the highest priority for all companies who choose to ship cargo via a U.S. port.
Many port accidents occur during loading and unloading cargo from vessels to storage to semi-trucks. In April of 2017 at the Port of Houston, a man was killed after being hit by a crane while waiting for cargo to be loaded onto his truck. There are dozens of workers who use a variety of heavy equipment and machinery, including cranes, to load and unload large shipping containers or oddly shaped cargo. This is a job that requires the utmost attention to detail and focus, as even the smallest mistake can cause a serious accident. If anything goes wrong, workers’ lives are in danger. Falling loads and crane accidents are common problems and can cause devastating injuries including broken bones, crush injuries, spinal cord injuries, and fatalities.
Some of the most common accidents that occur in ports are collisions. Ships moving through ports must keep a safe distance from land, buildings, shallow waters, and other vessels. If they fail to do so or do not receive proper guidance and direction from port officials, intense offshore collisions can occur. These collisions can injure crewmembers, workers on land, and severely damage property. Ships can become grounded on the seabed or the side of a waterway which can throw crewmembers overboard. If a ship runs aground, it can damage the structural integrity of the vessel and lead to breaches, spills, and other problems.
Mooring line accidents are also a concern while at port. When used properly, mooring lines keep large vessels tethered to the marine terminals and docks. If a mooring line is not used properly, and is either too loose or not tethered appropriately, that can allow a vessel to drift in the water and collide with surrounding ships or structures. If a mooring line is secured too tightly, it may be able to snap and can severely injure or even kill a nearby, unsuspecting crewmember.
Were You or a Loved One Injured at the Port of Corpus Christi?
If you or a loved one were hurt or killed while working at the Port of Corpus Christi or while working for a maritime company that docks at the port, contact us today. We have exceptional experience with maritime accidents and are fully aware of the unique situation you may find yourself in. We are ready to fight for you so that you can receive the rightful compensation you deserve for your injuries. Call our office today at (361) 654-8877 for a free case evaluation. We know how stressful and complicated the time period after an accident can be and our team will work hard for you so that you can focus on recovering.