Sandy Hook Pilot Captain Timothy M. Murray was killed after falling from a pilot ladder while boarding a tanker ship near the Port of New York/New Jersey. The incident occurred at around 10:30pm on Wednesday August 5, 2020. This incident comes shortly after another Sandy Hook pilot, Dennis R. Sherwood, fell and subsequently passed away from his injuries while boarding another vessel in December, 2019.

An investigation into the incident has been launched by the United States Coast Guard.  We will continue to monitor.

Captain Murray was a seasoned marine pilot with over 8 years’ experience piloting vessels in and out of New York and New Jersey. He is survived by his wife and five children.

Marine pilots are required by law in most major seaports of the world for large commercial ships.  The primary role of a marine pilot is to safely navigate large vessels through narrow coastal areas using their extensive local knowledge and navigational skill. Commercial vessels of all kinds rely on pilots to operate safely on a day to day basis. Without the knowledge that these pilots possess, it would not be possible for vessels to operate in congested waters or navigate port areas.

A marine pilot’s work is dangerous.  Pilots often join incoming ships in open water by climbing a rope ladder to the main deck.  These “Jacobs ladders” can extend up to 27 feet along the ship’s freeboard.  Other times, pilots may be lowered to the deck of a ship from a helicopter.

Licensed in New York, the attorneys of BOATLAW, LLP have represented seamen for over forty years and have experience with pilot fall injuries/deaths.  The firm’s admiralty lawyers have a unique understanding of the dangers faced by these mariners.

Story Credit: