Since Russia’s invasion, at least five merchant ships have been directly impacted by weapons of war during the regional conflict around the Ukraine. A Panama-flagged cargo ship sank after explosive contact below the waterline. All six crewmembers were rescued. Another vessel crew were not so lucky. An engineer on a Bangladesh Shipping Corp. vessel was killed when a missile directly hit the ship. Some fear that the worst is yet to come.
There remain approximately 140 ships trapped near conflict zones in the Ukraine, including a dozen oil-product tankers, a sunflower oil tanker, and 45 bulkers. That means over 1,000 mariners are currently in harm’s way.
An important issue in the backlog of ships in the Black Sea is access to marine pilots. Certain corridors are also restricted to vessel traffic due to threat of underwater mines.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) plans to hold an Extraordinary Session of its Council to address the serious threat to ships and crewmember near Ukraine.
If you or a loved one was injured or even killed aboard a commercial ship in international trade, this may be a difficult and uncertain time in your life. But the Jones Act and maritime law may apply to your benefit, so it is important to consult with an experienced maritime lawyer as soon as possible.
Mariner Law, PLLC is a maritime law firm that helps injured engineers, deckhands, seamen, and other crew with maritime injury claims nationwide. Licensed in Washington, Oregon, Alaska, New York, and Connecticut, the firm exclusively represents mariners who were injured offshore. Call (253) 600-2531 and ask for a free consultation with an admiralty attorney today.