As a maritime worker, you may have to work with drydocks at some point. A drydock is a vessel that is commonly used for maintenance and repair of ships, boats, and other offshore vessels. The way they work is by flooding and draining. A drydock is a basin of sorts, and when it is flooded a load can be floated in but when it is drained that load will be resting on a dry platform. This is no new invention; drydocks date back to ancient times.
There are two major types of drydock:
Graving: This is the classic form of drydock that is usually made out of berms and concrete. A gate is used to keep water out and in of the basin. When the water is out of the basin, the vessel is left resting on supporting blocks. This type of dock is commonly used in vessel cleaning practices for when barnacles and other waste attaches itself to the bottom of a vessel and needs to be cleaned off. These are usually boxy in shape, but differ depending on the intended use.
Floating: This type of drydock is more like a pontoon that possesses chambers that can be filled and emptied by valves. The deck of the pontoon then becomes either submerged or dry, allowing the position of the vessel to be changed inside the pontoon's chamber. These type of docks are used for easy mobility.
Accidents that typically plague drydocks involve flooding. It is not uncommon for gates to break, which causes uncontrolled flooding of the basin where offshore workers are typically performing maintenance to the ship. The extent of injuries may depend on the size of the drydock, but it doesn't have to. The risk of flooding necessitates constant need for maintenance to a drydock's floodgates. If the floodgates fail at your drydock worksite and it was the responsibility of your employer to maintain them, you may be entitled to compensation.
If you or someone you know has been injured after being involved in a drydock accident, it is important to seek the legal representation of a maritime injury attorney you can trust. At Arnold & Itkin LLP, we have defended hundreds of maritime workers who have been involved in various offshore accidents and have a successful track-record in obtaining them compensation. Oil and other offshore companies should always be held accountable for their actions, and if a piece of equipment failed that they were responsible for maintaining, and it caused your injuries, you deserve justice so that your medical bills and other expenses will be covered.
If you were injured in an offshore accident involving a drydock, contact an offshore injury attorney.
Arnold & Itkin represented nearly a third of the crewmembers injured in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.
Because maritime law is so complex and so complicated, it is crucial that you work with an attorney who has an in-depth understanding of how it works and who has proven themselves in similar cases before.