Can road rage happen on the water?
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Can road rage happen on the water?

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2021 | Boating Accidents

Vessel operators should act responsibly when navigating boats on the water. The risks of using heavy equipment and dealing with choppy waters already put you as a worker in the commercial fishing industry at enough risk. The possibility of crew injury may increase if tempers flare among boat operators, possibly prompting reckless action.

Road rage is something that occurs with automobile drivers. One or more motorists lose their temper and disregard the rules of the road. They may speed or cut each other off, causing an accident and serious injury. Heated tempers could happen on the water too, even among people who operate commercial fishing boats.

A collision between fishing boats

National Fisherman describes an incident in June 2019 that occurred between two American seiners operating out of American Samoa. These fishing boats both laid claim to a school of tuna close to the island of Kiribati. Fishmasters on the two boats got into a heated argument over the radio as they contested for the right to the tuna.

This argument laid the groundwork for an incident two days later when both vessels discovered a school of tuna at about the same time. Each boat accelerated towards the tuna and made no efforts to communicate with each other even though they were closing in on the same spot. The result was a collision, with the bow of one vessel slamming onto the port side of the other vessel’s wheelhouse.

Avoid tempers to stop boat injuries

The collision did not result in injury and both vessels returned to port. However, the damage to the collided vessel added up to $8.1 million. The other vessel’s damages amounted to $225,500. While this incident did not injure any of the crew, it still demonstrates that irresponsible behavior can amount to high momentary damages.

Given the cramped nature of seiner boats and the heavy equipment used to catch fish, it is important for ship captains to keep a cool head. Workers could suffer head injuries, broken bones or serious internal injuries from a fall just from negligent actions alone. Getting into a boat collision over frayed tempers could yield worse results.