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Coast Guard Announces New Law Requiring Boat Engine Cut-off Switches

As of April 1, 2021, operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet long will be required to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL), according to the U.S. Coast Guard. The ECOS and ECOSL devices prevent runaway vessels and the threats they pose. The ECOSL attaches the vessel operator to… Read More

Back-to-Back Offshore Medevacs on the West Coast

It was a busy weekend for the U.S. Coast Guard along the West Coast, including two medical evacuations from vessels underway offshore. First, on February 19, 2021, the Coast Guard responded to hails from the 10,000 TEU containership M/V HYUNDAI JUPITER 40 nautical miles to the west of San Luis Obispo, California.  A person aboard… Read More

Three Commercial Fishermen Rescued from Sinking Crab Boat in Northern California

At 1820 hours on Sunday, January 24, crab boat F/V SUNUP issued a distress call to the United States Coast Guard.  According to the crew, the vessel developed propulsion issues, lost control, and allided with the south jetty entering Humboldt Bay, California. Coast Guard Station Humboldt Bay deployed a motor lifeboat and a helicopter to… Read More

Los Angeles: Busiest U.S. Port Had Fourth-Best Year In 2020

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Port of Los Angeles, which remains the U.S.’s busiest port, reported the fourth-best year on record in 2020. Specifically, the Port of Los Angeles handled 9.2 million 20-foot equivalent units, or TEUs. As reported by the Port’s Executive Director, Gene Seroka, the Port’s container business was the “most erratic” seen… Read More

New Fire Safety Requirements for Small Passenger Vessels Included in the National Defense Authorization Act (FY2021)

In the wake of the deadly fire aboard D/V CONCEPTION in September 2019, lawmakers have advanced a new fire safety bill for small passenger vessels, the Small Passenger Vessel Safety Act.  The legislation was proposed by Senator Dianne Feinstein and Representatives Salud Carbajal and Julia Brownley.  It was rolled into the National Defense Authorization Act… Read More

Captain of D/V CONCEPTION Indicted for Criminal Seaman Manslaughter

D/V CONCEPTION caught fire and sank off the coast of California in 2019.  The incident killed 34 people.  On December 1, 2020, the captain of the Vessel was indicted on federal manslaughter charges under The Seaman’s Manslaughter Statute, codified at 18 U.S.C. § 1115. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, the captain… Read More

Vessel Owner and Management Blamed for Deadly Fire Aboard California Dive Boat

During the Oct. 20, 2020 meeting of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, the NTSB determined the probable cause of the Sept., 2019 fire casualty aboard D/V CONCEPTION was the failure of Truth Aquatics, Inc., the owner and operator of the vessel, to provide effective oversight of the boat and crew operations.  Specifically, they failed… Read More

NTSB Meets to Consider Probable Cause of Fatal Dive Boat Fire

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board will meet at 1 p.m. (EDT) on October 20, 2020, concerning the fire aboard D/V CONCEPTION off of Santa Cruz, California in 2019.  The fire killed 34 people.  The Board, which consists of five members will vote on the probable cause, make recommendations, and discuss changes to their draft… Read More

NTSB Releases Hundreds of Pages of Evidence on Deadly Fire Aboard D/V CONCEPTION

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has publicly released voluminous documentary evidence relating to the fire aboard D/V CONCEPTION on September 2, 2019, which resulted in the deaths of 34 people.  The only survivors of the incident near Santa Cruz Island in California were five crewmembers who dove into the water for safety.  Everyone else… Read More

  • The Maritime Law Association of The United States
    The Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) was founded in 1899. Its formation was prompted by the organization, some three years earlier, of the International Maritime Committee.
  • Washington State Bar Association
    The Washington State Bar Association operates under the delegated authority of the Washington Supreme Court to license the state's nearly 40,000 lawyers and other legal professionals.
  • Oregon State Bar
    The Oregon State Bar is a government agency in the U.S. state of Oregon. Founded in 1890 as the private Oregon Bar Association, it became a public entity in 1935 that regulates the legal profession.
  • Alaska Bar Association
    The Alaska Bar Association is a mandatory bar association responsible to the Alaska Supreme Court for the admission and discipline process of attorneys for the State of Alaska.