Tragically, a Russian seaman has died of a heart of attack. On the evening of September 17, 2020, the cargo ship Ronja requested emergency medical assistance due to a crew member in critical condition. At the time, the vessel was in the Bay of Biscay, north of Spain, while en route to Brake, Germany. A Spanish rescue helicopter carried out the medevac, but the 45 year old seaman was pronounced dead on arrival at a Spanish hospital.
Safe maritime companies must have adequate policies and procedures in place in the event of a medical emergency on board the vessel. As soon as a seaman appears to be critically injured emergency medical evacuation needs to take place. It is the custom and practice of the maritime industry to appropriately plan and train for shipboard medical situations so that vessel management and captains can respond appropriately. Moreover, when working with a sick or injured mariner—especially a seaman whose sense of judgment might be affected by their illness or injury—it is an owner’s, manager’s and a captain’s duty to choose the safest course of action. Vessel owners are responsible for training the captain and crews on how to respond to onboard medical emergencies and equipping them with the knowledge to do so quickly and effectively.
In the maritime industry, a captain is ultimately responsible for the health and safety of his/her passengers and crewmembers. The decision on whether to seek profession medical care should not be left to a sick or injured seaman, who may have compromised judgment, who may have less understanding of the situation and the options available, and who may be afraid or embarrassed to “make a fuss” or may just feel that, in the tradition of mariners, he has to tough it out. The maritime custom and practice does not permit failure to examine an ill crewmember, crewmember hesitation to visit a hospital, communication failures, or scheduling difficulties to interfere with the immediate professional examination and hospitalization of a sick or injured crewmember.
Our experienced lawyers handle maritime personal injury and wrongful death litigation of all kinds and the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another party. The lawyers of Spagnoletti Law Firm have handled maritime lawsuits throughout the country. Our attorneys have previously represented the family members of foreign seamen who have lost their lives or been seriously injured in numerous accidents all over the world. We have extensive experience in maritime injury and death cases involving a failure to provide timely or adequate medical treatment on board a vessel.
The experienced and aggressive maritime attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of a failure to provide adequate medical treatment. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to vessel accidents, so please contact us online or call 713-659-0257 or 877-678-5864 to learn more about your rights.