U.S. Coast Guard Regulations for Maritime Safety


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U.S. Coast Guard regulations are in place to enforce maritime safety.

US Coast Guard regulations address a variety of issues surrounding maritime safety. If you were injured as a maritime worker, you may have questions concerning your rights. Consulting a New Orleans maritime attorney can help you better understand them.

U.S. Coast Guard Regulations Pertaining to New Orleans Vessels and Navigation

Regulations are in place regarding the safety of vessels and your maritime safety. What qualifies as a vessel is generally any type of watercraft or other form of transportation that is used on the water.

The following are some of the specific regulations pertaining to vessels:

• they must not present a substantial hazard to safety or navigation;
• a lack of safety must not be present to cargo and/or operator if the vessel was disabled; and
• they must be able to transport cargo or persons into deeper waters safely.

There are also U.S. Coast Guard regulations in place regarding the navigation of vessels. Some examples include visibility and lights, along with warning signals. Rules are in place regarding the responsibility among vessels, such as conditions in which to keep out of the way or the speed and course of a vessel.

U.S. Coast Guard Regulations: State and Federal

There are also differences between New Orleans state and federal regulations. Of course, each state may have its own rules.

In Louisiana, there are regulations pertaining to the identification of a Hull or HIN number, personal flotation devices, visual distress signals and navigation lights. These are in place to ensure vessels and those onboard are safe.

Federal regulations address issues such as ventilation, electrical systems, negligent operation and regulated boating areas. Numerous regulations are in place on a federal level to ensure safe navigation.

U.S. Coast Guard and New Orleans Maritime Safety

Those who work in the maritime industry often face dangerous situations. Working on boats in sometimes-hazardous conditions and performing job duties that require strength and skill is common. However, this doesn’t detract from the fact that these workers are entitled to perform their tasks in a safe environment.

Therefore, the Coast Guard participates in inspections of marine facilities, offshore drilling units and vessels. They also play a role in investigating accidents and the implementation of safety programs.

Vessel construction standards are enforced and developed by the Coast Guard for your maritime safety, and it must review and approve plans for repairs or construction.

When a maritime worker is injured, he or she could be entitled to compensation if it stems from an unseaworthy vessel. This means the ship (or other mode of transportation the worker is on) is improperly equipped and/or staffed.

Damages could be available that address medical costs incurred, lost wages, and possibly other losses such as pain and suffering. Whether this compensation is addressed through maritime laws, the Jones Act or Workers' Compensation will depend on the circumstances.

In some cases, a third-party claim could be filed. It would be in your best interest to discuss the details of your accident with a New Orleans maritime attorney. This will give you the opportunity to learn more about maritime safety, your rights and how U.S. Coast Guard regulations could impact your case.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Timothy Young
Maritime and admiralty lawyer Timothy J. Young graduated cum laude from Tulane Law School in 1993. Licensed to practice in both Louisiana and Texas, he is an active member of the American Association for Justice and the Louisiana Association for Justice, including the admiralty sections of both associations. Mr. Young has given talks to lawyers in other states regarding the practice of maritime law.

At The Young Firm, our maritime and admiralty attorneys are dedicated to providing superior legal counsel to clients injured as a result of another party's reckless, careless, or negligent conduct. We meticulously prepare each case and are committed to protecting the rights of the catastrophically injured. For more than 50 years, our attorneys have been focusing on the practice of maritime / admiralty law.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.



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