Worker Falls Overboard from Zito Fleeting Barge

by | Jan 30, 2021 | Maritime Law, Wrongful Death

A worker on board a barge owned by Zito Fleeting fell overboard on January 26, 2021.  At the time, the vessel was in the Lower Mississippi River near Jefferson Heights in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana.  The worker has been identified as 44 year old Elisander Alvardo.  It is unclear as to what caused the crewman to go overboard.  On Wednesday, the Coast Guard announced that it has suspended the search for this missing maritime worker.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Alvardo’s family.

There have been a number of recent incidents where crew members have fallen overboard, or sustained injuries during a fall on a vessel. The captain of the very large ore carrier Sea Fujiyama fell overboard on January 12, 2021.  On January 9, 2021, a crew member fell overboard from the refrigerated cargo vessel Baltic Klipper northeast of Bermuda.  On December 14, 2020, a crew member fell overboard from the cargo ship MARE.   On November 29, 2020, while a general cargo vessel was docked in the Port of Houston, a worker fell 100 feet into the vessel’s cargo hold.  The worker was pronounced dead at a local hospital.  On October 27, 2020, a crew member fell off the container ship Maersk Tukang while the vessel was in the Port of Savannah, South Carolina.

A worker falling overboard can be the result of many factors, including: human error, weather conditions, equipment failure, poor maintenance practices, a failure to conduct adequate pre-job hazard analyses (or JSAs), or a lack of proper equipment.  A worker going overboard can often be a result of a combination of the above factors.  The unfortunate reality is that many maritime companies cut corners, which puts the lives of their workers and the general public at risk on a daily basis.  Safe boat owners and operators must have adequate procedures in place to govern the work performed by the crew to ensure the safety of everyone on board.  The unfortunate truth of an incident like this it is preventable, but that requires company’s to put in the necessary effort to protect their workers.

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, including those involving incidents that occurred on barges.  We have previously handled wrongful death lawsuits involving individuals who have fallen overboard.  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 maritime accident. There are strict and short time limits on making claims related to vessel accidents, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your rights.