Fishermen Have One of the Most Dangerous Occupations

Fishing for a living is the single most dangerous occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). History has shown that fishermen have a 20 to 30 times greater risk of suffering a fatal job injury than all of the other occupations. Every year, there are 50 to 100 fishing fatalities on average.

Why is commercial fishing so dangerous?

Fishermen face certain perils that are unique to the occupation. Fishing vessels usually travel great distances, far out on the sea. These vessels sometimes encounter “rogue waves,” which are over 100 feet high. Rogue waves are often leftover waves from previous storms or a collection of ordinary waves and can hit even in relatively calm seas. A rogue wave is powerful and can easily destroy a commercial fishing vessel.

There are other hazards associated with commercial fishing. Electrocutions, homicides, being caught in winches or other machinery and aircraft crashes are all among the numerous causes of fishing fatalities. A maritime accident can occur when a fishing vessel hits a submerged rock or collides with another vessel in the fog. In fact, vessel casualties are one of the leading causes of fishing deaths.

Falling overboard is also a danger faced by commercial fishermen. A small wave can be strong enough to wash a worker overboard. Fishermen have also been known to go overboard after tripping on a tightened line or falling from a slippery deck.

Commercial divers account for a significant number of fishing fatalities each year, as they encounter challenges while working offshore. Crewmembers who have little training or experience are sometimes required o dive below water to untangle nets or lines, which places them in danger. Other hazards, such as adverse sea and weather conditions, murky water, unexpected shifts in underwater currents, air lines that have become entangled, malfunctioning scuba equipment and decompression problems can all lead to fatal diving injuries.

If you have been injured in a maritime accident, contact an experienced maritime lawyer today to learn more about your legal options.