Brian White | January 24, 2012 | Maritime Law
On September 7, 2011, as Tropical Storm Nate was quickly turning into Hurricane Nate, the captain of the Trinity II, located in the Bay of Campeche, requested for ships in the area to help evacuate his crew of 1o, with no answer or commitment to come help the 10 were forced to evacuate on September 8, 2011, after a starboard leg failed. As they prepared for evacuation the fully stocked 25 man rafts blew away leaving only a 12 man life float and life vests for the 10 men.
Within 48 hours the men had become dehydrated, hallucinating and in pain. After the seawater had eaten their tongues and lips the men were forced to drink their own urine in hopes of survival. Within those first 48 hours of being lost in the seas they lost four of the 10 men to death. The first man to pass was Aaron Howeling of Australia, who was hired by Geokinectics Inc. based out of Houston, Texas, it is said he was having a mental breakdown he kept untying himself from the raft, had shivers, and lips had turned purple.
The second to pass was Nicholas Reed who was an employee of Trinity Liftboat Services of New Iberia, Louisiana, it is said he became disoriented and died from drowning. Kham Nadimuzzan from Bangladesh who was also hired by Geokinectics Inc. out of Houston, Texas, died after eating seeds from lilies that floated by. On September 10, 2011 the last death came, Craig Myers another employee of Trinity Liftboat Services of New Iberia.
Even though there were still six men alive all had severe sunburn and some form of organ failure. These men and their families have rights for compensation for the deaths injuries, pain, and suffering under the Jones Act, which was established in 1920.
On September 11, 2011, day three of being in the waters, The Bourbon Artabaze found the float first even though Desire, one of the six survivors had been following the boat for quite some time that afternoon only to have it turn around on him leaving him looking at the stern. Filled with frustration Desire saw an airplane in the sky and within 10 minutes the boat turned around again heading towards him. Once he reached the boat he climbed on board to discover the rest of the crew were already on stretchers receiving medical attention and water.
Parfait, one of the six survivors of the tragedy of the Trinity II, states the evacuation plans need to be prepared prior to an incident occurring. He also stated that the non-marineers like the cleaning crew and two gentlemen from Geokinetics that were aboard the Trinity II, be required to undergo the same water survival training the mariners go through.
He feels these guys were not given a fair chance at survival because they did not know the tools for survival. With their rights not being protected and many errors made while they were on the seas the families of the deceased and the injuried members of the crew have rights to being financially protected under the Jones Act, which was established in 1920.
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