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Friday, July 02, 2010

Fatal Collision Claims Life of Maine Fisherman

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A tragic story. The accident, as described in earnest by the captain of one of the boats, suggests an all too common cause -- complacency. I don't say this with any malice toward the captain because what happened here can happen to anyone, if not to such a degree, i.e. leaving the helm to eat a sandwich. It's a little different with many fishermen and certainly many lobstermen on the Maine coast. They work long hours on the water, day in and day out, without the eyes and ears of other professional shipmates looking over their shoulder. The majority of sternmen (or mates) on a lobsterboat have little in the way of seafaring skills.

I hope this doesn't lead to criminal or civil penalties against the captain because this was truly a tragic accident, but the incident points to huge discrepancies and inequalities for seafarers on the water. If this had happened to a professional mariner with merchant marine credentials his (or her) life would be over. He (or she) would have their license(s) suspended, and there would be criminal and maybe civil charges filed.


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