Offshore InjuryBlog

History of the Port of Decatur

The Port of Decatur is located along the Tennessee River in northern Alabama and is known for being the busiest port on the entire river. It has a riverfront of over 2,000 feet, approximately 12 acres of open storage, 90 fleeting spots, and a US Coast Guard Facility on its premises. Its commodities include steel, pipe, sand, asphalt, coal, and dry fertilizers. Over the years, this highly trafficked and high volume commercial site has contributed to dangerous environments for workers and the seamen passing through. Fortunately, our Alabama Jones Act lawyers have kept pace with the growth and development at the port and can effectively represent cases unique to the area.

The Early Years of the Port

Before its status as a port, Decatur was originally known as “River City” because it was commonly used by settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains as a crossing and transportation hub. Population increased as the city’s economy was boosted by the combination of river commerce and the arrival of early railroads. On June 16, 1820, Decatur received its official name in honor of a naval war hero, Stephen Decatur, who fought in the War of 1812.

A few decades later, the strategic location of the city made it a highly desirable post for both Union and Confederate armies in the Civil War. The war left a devastating mark on the town. Decatur emerged with only three buildings to its name, and a reduced population due to a major yellow fever outbreak a few years later. By the 1880’s, the city finally began expanding again and would see many advances and improvements through the 20th century.

Port Decatur Today

Though commerce was always a big part of Decatur’s riverfront, the official Port of Decatur was not established until 1971. A couple named Willard and Ethel Williams, owners of Decatur Transit, built up the port and saw it as a major need for Decatur. Today, the port is the largest privately owned port on the Tennessee River, routinely handling 5 million tons of river freight each year. Its connections to railroad and highway networks as well as the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway make it a desirable location for shipping companies. Recently, it was acquired by Parker Towing, one of the largest freight companies in the Southeast. They plan to grow their presence and maximize the benefits of the Port of Decatur’s location.

Injured at the Port of Decatur?

As the Port of Decatur continues to grow and expand, so does the volume of activity. If you have been injured while working in or passing through the Port of Decatur, you may be eligible to make an offshore injury claim. Be sure to seek legal counsel in case of an accident and find a lawyer who is skilled in maritime law, including the Jones Act.

The Jones Act

Working in maritime industry can be a dangerous vocation.

Serious injuries often result from these unfortunate circumstances unique to offshore work:

  • Dangerous Equipment
  • Crane Failures
  • Vessel Collisions
  • Slips & Falls
  • Lifting Accidents

The Jones Act protects any offshore workers who are injured or become ill due to the unseaworthiness of a vessel. In most Jones Act claims, an injured individual is compensated more than what a traditional workers’ compensation claim would provide. Any injuries incurred while working offshore can be thoroughly assessed by our Alabama Jones Act attorneys, who are ready to fight for your rights under this legal provision.

Qualified assistance for your injury can be found by contacting us today!

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