Three crewmen have been rescued from a dredge taking on water near the Quillayute River near La Push, Washington. The dredge, “Bar Fly,” reportedly got hung up on its anchor and began taking on water, causing the crew to radio the Coast Guard for help. The dredge sank in ten feet of water, and salvage and efforts to limit environmental damage are underway. There were no reported injuries in the accident.
In a recent decision by the United States Supreme Court, crewmen aboard dredges such as the Bar Fly have been declared to be Jones Act seamen and covered by Federal Maritime Law. Maritime employers owe dredge workers a safe place to work and a seaworthy vessel. In almost all accidents such as this one, the accident is preventable if proper safety procedures are followed.