(800) 773-6770

Archive: Maritime Injury Lawsuit News

Mammoth Wind Turbines Being Considered for Offshore

Posted on May 2, 2012

Colossal floating energy-generating wind turbines that could not be seen from land are being discussed by the U.S. and the U.K. The energy secretaries of the two nations made the statement in an announcement last week at a London meeting of 23 countries attending the Clean Energy Ministerial.

The joint U.S.-U.K. venture would allow the placement of huge turbines to be located in water thousands of feet deep and positioned far offshore. They wouldn't disturb anyone's view.

Today's turbines, none yet floating or located off the U.S. coast, are usually restricted to a 200-foot depth limit and are tethered to the sea bottom. The new turbines would have an additional benefit besides allowing the use of wind-driven machines far offshore without spoiling people's views. Winds that far out are more reliable and blow faster.

The U.K. Energy Technologies Institute is requesting that businesses propose their ideas for $41 million floating demonstration projects. The chosen projects will be asked to submit their designs for a floating wind turbine that would be between five and seven megawatts (MW) capacity. (Inland wind turbines that large have rotor diameters of 413 feet.) The winner will be commissioned to build a demonstration turbine off the British coast for $41 million. The prototype is expected to be completed by 2016.

In the U.S., the Department of Energy has announced $180 million in funding for four demonstration projects. None of them, however, has been explicitly termed a floating offshore turbine. The U.S. has the potential for 4150 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind.

Other countries also have or are contemplating building offshore wind turbines. Norway has the largest floating wind turbine so far. The country has a 2.3MW turbine with a diameter of 270 feet. It cost $62 million to build.

The Japanese government has built wind turbines offshore also. The Fukushima Recovery Floating Wind Farm Pilot Project, expected to be completed by 2016, will consist of a 2MW turbine plus two 7MW turbines. The country expects to build a 1GW offshore wind turbine off its northern coast by 2020. If the project succeeds, the size of the wind farm would far exceed any current off-shore wind farm.

Much bigger installations, however, are being developed, including a 9GW wind farm at Dogger Bank off of England's east coast.

Source: Ars Technica

The United States and Offshore Wind Projects

“Although the United States has a long history of managing energy-related extractive industries (e.g., oil and gas) on federal lands and in federal waters, there is no institutional knowledge about offshore wind energy facilities. Offshore wind power is a relatively new energy industry with about a 20-year demonstration history in European seas and less than a 10-year operational history for utility-scale projects. As such, the regulatory and institutional structures for offshore wind energy are just now emergingin the United States.

Overall, the opportunities for offshore wind are abundant, yet the barriers and challenges are also significant. In the context of the greater energy, environmental, and economic concerns the nation faces, accelerating the deployment of offshore wind could have tremendous benefits to the United States.”

Jump to 2015 & the Emerging Wind and Wave Power Market

Maritime workers are working on the vessels, jack-up barges, and platforms used for the emerging wind and wave power market. Inevitably there are bound to be accidents.

If you have suffered a serious injury while working as a maritime worker, contact a maritime law attorney.


Confined Spaces Present Hazards for Maritime Workers

Posted on May 1, 2012

Safety in confined spaces is an important focus for maritime workers as well as workers in other types of businesses. There is always the potential for harm in a confined space when someone is near explosive or combustible materials.

A confined space is defined as any space that is large enough for a person to enter and work in which has limited ways to enter or exit and which is not designed for continuous occupancy.

Risks in confined spaces generally are of three types:

  • - Combustible gas
  • - Toxic gas
  • - Oxygen depletion or excess

Special personnel are trained to prevent and deal with fires, explosions, vapors, or lack of oxygen in confined spaces, and many industries, including the maritime industry, have manuals addressing these issues. Government agencies also have regulations and safety standards for confined spaces that need to be met. The U.S. Department of the Navy has a Maritime Confined Space Program.

The Maritime Accident Casebook asks, "Why is it so difficult to get across the simple message: Without oxygen you die?"

Fresh air has 20.9 percent oxygen. If that concentration drops to under 19.5 percent or rises above 23.5 percent the atmosphere is hazardous.  Too little or too much oxygen impairs a person's physical and mental abilities.

Among the U.S. Navy program's regulations are instructions regarding spray painting, welding, cutting and solvent cleaning. Rules for testing procedures and instruments to be used for testing also are included. Distance between ignition sources and flammable materials are specified.

Storage Vessels Containing Hydrocarbon Fuels and Oils Present Dangers to Maritime Workers

Dangers, whether offshore or onshore, are presented by storage vessels that have contained hydrocarbon fuels and oils. Such dangers include fuel leaks, burst fuel containers, pipelines on and off site, gas cylinders and an engine-driven plant.

Confined space dangers are present in pits, sewers, tunnels and other subsurface locations where methane gas or carbon monoxide almost always exists.

Other areas where confined spaces might be dangerous include water treatment and oil production facilities that have high levels of hydrogen sulfide; generators that in confined spaces present risks for carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide from diesel generators; and leaks from oxygen enrichment materials such as medical breathing apparatuses or supplies, oxygen containers, and welding cylinders.

Source: Environmental Expert

If you were injured in an offshore accident while working as a sailor other offshore worker, you can seek compensation for your injuries. To speak with a maritime lawyer about your rights, please contact us today.


Search for Missing Tugboat Captain Halted

Posted on April 27, 2012

The Coast Guard halted their search Thursday, April 26, for the captain of a tugboat who is believed to have fallen overboard.

Brendan O’Leary, 48, was last seen on Wednesday afternoon. He was identified by his wife Kate according to WCVB-TV, Boston. O’Leary was from Marblehead, Massachusetts.

Crew on the 91-foot tugboat Steven Scott called the Coast Guard about an hour and a half after O’Leary went missing.

Coast Guard Search Initiated

The Coast Guard began a search on Wednesday that continued until about 1:30 p.m. the next afternoon when it was called off. About 775 square miles were covered during the search.

Water temperatures were about 52 degrees and winds were blowing at about 23 to 25 miles per hour at the time O’Leary was believed to have fallen overboard. The Coast Guard didn’t think he was wearing a lifejacket.

“The Coast Guard conducted a thorough search with multiple assets through the night, but unfortunately they did not yield new information,” Petty Officer 1st Class Joaquin Alayola told the Gloucester Times on Friday. Boats and planes were used to search for the lost seaman.

The tugboat, which was headed to Boston, is based in New York and was approximately nine miles south of the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. The Steven Scott was towing a barge carrying 45,000 barrels of jet fuel.


If your loved one died while working at sea onboard a tugboat or another type of seagoing vessel, you can seek compensation for your loss. To learn more about your rights, please contact our maritime injury attorneys today.

back to top