Albany, the capital of New York, has long been a port town despite its inland location. Ships coming into port here must traverse 124 nautical miles up the deep water shipping channel of the Hudson River beginning in New York Harbor. For maritime workers here, Albany maritime lawyers are ready and waiting to help after an accident and injury on the job.
The Port of Albany
This New York port stretches through two cities: Albany and Rensselaer, one on each side of the Hudson River. The area has been a harbor and port for centuries.
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The current port was built under Franklin D. Roosevelt during his time as the governor of New York. The building of the modern port began in 1932. Originally it was called the Port of Albany-Rensselaer, but most often, it is just the Port of Albany.
The port is 124 nautical miles north of New York Harbor and includes deep water harbors on both sides of the Hudson River, in Albany and Rensselaer.
The port has over 5,000 feet of wharf, 350,000 square feet of indoor warehouse space, and ten acres of open storage area. The largest grain elevator east of the Mississippi is here, as is the tallest harbor crane in the state.
The most common cargo that goes through the port includes grain, cement, molasses, animal feed, wood pulp, steel, and liquid fertilizer. The port also has a cruise ship docked regularly and a permanently-docked ship museum.
Accidents at the Port of Albany
Accidents are common at many ports, including Albany. Although this is a smaller port, with less shipping coming and going than others, there are still daily risks on the job that can cause workers to get injured or even killed.
From ship collisions to crane accidents to cargo spills and truck accidents, incidents can occur in the port at any time and have tragic consequences. Sometimes accidents don’t hurt anyone but cause monetary damage or environmental disasters.
Oil Tanker Grounding
One incident occurred in 2012 when an oil tanker left the port and ran aground on a sandbar in shallow water. The tanker had a double hull, and running aground only breached the outer layer.
Luckily no one was hurt in the incident, although it did slow down traffic for the day, and no oil spilled. The accident underscores the potential for a major environmental accident and how difficult it is to navigate a long shipping channel.
Another port accident was not such a lucky or close shave. Three people died in 2003 when a heavy-lift cargo ship unexpectedly rolled and capsized. The accident happened so suddenly and surprised everyone that workers had little notice and chance to get off the ship. As a result, three workers died.
They remained trapped in the hold, which flooded. The accident occurred while the ship was docked in its Port of Albany berth while cargo was loaded onto it.
The ship rolled as a nearly 300-pound generator was being loaded, but no wrongdoing could be found. The accident illustrates how quickly tragic accidents can happen, even when everyone does everything right.
In 1981 one worker was killed and another seriously injured while securing a barge carrying oil to the dock. The two workers were handling ropes to secure the barge. With one already secured, they set to work on the other, but the first rope snapped free and struck both workers.
They were slammed into concrete pilings, and one worker died in the hospital while the other suffered cuts and internal injuries.
Legal Rights and Resources
As a maritime industry worker, you could face any of the accidents listed here and many other possibilities daily. While some accidents are close calls and people get lucky, others cause serious accidents that keep them from working for weeks or months. Other accidents kill people.
You have rights, though. Your employer is entitled to compensate you for things like lost wages and medical bills. If you are denied, you also have rights under federal maritime law to force the issue and get what you are owed. If you die on the job, your family has the same rights.
To ensure you get the rights you deserve, you may need to file a claim, go through arbitration, or even file a lawsuit or go to trial. Albany maritime lawyers are available and have the expertise to help guide you through the process.
A lawyer can face your employer for you, file claims, and represent you in an arbitration or court case. Rely on this professional to get you the money you need to get back on your feet.