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907-331-3549 Anchorage, Alaska Personal Injury Law Firm
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Various levels of severity in maritime accidents

There are few things as essential to the character of Alaska as the water. It has the most extensive coastline of any state, a fact leading to a bustling maritime industry composed of tourism, fishing and freight. More activity on the water inevitably leads to a higher incidence of mistakes, some of which result in a significant enough loss to necessitate legal action.

For example, there was a major collision involving a cruise ship in south Alaska in 2016. The Anchorage Daily News reported that the large vessel— she had a maximum capacity of 2,170 people— rammed a dock in Ketchikan. The collision punctured the hull and put the dock out of commission. The article stated that no injuries were reported. 

The National Transportation Safety Board Marine Accident Reports list five serious accidents resulting in capsizing, foundering or sinking of vessels in Alaska from 2015 through 2017. Catastrophic events of this type are rare, but, according to the NTSB data, they are more likely to occur on a fishing vessel than any other type of craft. 

Not all maritime accidents involve events as dramatic as the previous two examples. Simple slips and falls on deck or injuries due to dangerous equipment are much more common. News of seamen or offshore workers injured on seafaring vessels or oil rigs rarely receives the same coverage as the larger incidents of destroyed docks and sinking ships. Nevertheless, these more personal injuries are just as traumatic to the people involved. 

Alaska depends on a variety of maritime industries to flourish. The laborers in these industries deserve the same level of workplace safety as any other, regardless of how far off shore they happen to work.

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