November 14, 2016
This is fish radio. I’m Stephanie Mangini. Keep you and your boat covered. More on vessel insurances after this…
The Alaska Marine Safety Education Association offers free ergonomics training to seafood processing workers and fishermen to reduce injuries and increase productivity. Visit www.amsea.org to schedule a training at your plant or vessel.
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Boat owners can be liable for more crew injury costs than they might expect. In high risk jobs someone is bound to get hurt or ill on deck. Dillingham attorney Jurgen Jensen explains the importance of insurances and how they can keep the captain and the boat protected.
“Injuries are pretty obvious: somebody’s going to get hurt. If you lose a finger, obviously that’s an injury that could happen on the boat, But this can also come up with illnesses. If somebody falls ill with cancer and they’re on your boat fishing, the court will say that you owe maintenance and cure. You will owe for medical bills while they’re getting cured of cancer, and you’ll owe the daily maintenance rate, which generally ranges between $35 and $55 dollars a day.”
Maintenance- means the boat owner has to cover room and board while a fisherman recovers from his or her injury. Cure refers to the medical costs accumulated during recovery. Jensen suggests that any boat injury be treated and documented to protect oneself against any future ailment claims from an injured crewman.
“This one, actually, I find disturbing. A gentleman fell on the boat, hit his head, complained about the headaches, but didn’t get medical care for it,” said Jensen. “He was later fired for fighting. Five months later, he came up with a brain tumor. Because he complained about headaches, the court said that that arose when he was in the service of the vessel, and they held the boat liable for maintenance and cure.”
Jensen says that the best coverage one can have is Protection and Indemnity insurance. It covers everything, from bodily injury, to vessel and property damage.
“Make this the insurance company’s problem. Don’t involve yourself with this; I have had a case very recently of an uninsured captain who got held up for exactly what I just talked about that. Don’t get held up like that, because you won’t be able to keep your boat if they want to take it.”“You can’t hide your boat in bankruptcy; you can’t get around it any other way.”
Background checks and a medical history checklist included with the crew contract are other good suggestions Jensen makes to keep you and your vessel protected.
“You want to find out whom you’re hiring and if they have any injuries, because if they misrepresent those injuries and they get injured, you can get around paying that M&C.”
Find links to crew contracts and medical checklists at www.alaskafishradio.com and thank to the assist of KDLG in Dillingham.
Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods, an Alaska corporation proudly supporting Alaska’s coastal communities and the Alaskans who depend on fishing for their livelihoods and culture. www.oceanbeauty.com In Kodiak, I’m Stephanie Mangini.