Barge Accidents and Information

Barge Accidents

Barges are large, flat-bottomed boats designed mainly for the transportation of heavy goods and services through canals and rivers. Recently, smaller, modified barges have been used by recreationalists for pleasure cruising in the placid, slow-moving waterways of the world. Unfortunately, barges are often unable to alter course quickly, and this lack of mobility coupled with increased boater traffic has led to several major barge accidents over the past several years.

Many factors can contribute to a barge accident, but a recent Coast Guard survey suggests that the most common reason for on-water incidents is operator negligence. Due to their size and specialized construction, many barges are not self-propelled, and rely on the aid of tow-boats and other hauling vessels in order to pass through the relatively shallow confines of canals and rivers. As a result, miscommunication between crew members and/or poorly performed safety practices and procedures can greatly increase the risk of barge accidents.

Victims of barge accidents often are frustrated by the fact that the injuries they have sustained are the result of inattentive barge or boat operators. If you have been injured in a barge accident, knowing your legal rights is a key component in the process of seeking the reparations you deserve for your pain and suffering. Experienced and aggressive admiralty law attorneys will fight to bring those responsible to justice, and help you back to physical and financial recovery.

Construction Barges

A construction barge is designed to carry or store construction equipment needed to fix or assemble water-based vessels and structures. Construction barges are often used to help assemble or rebuild water-spanning bridges, tunnels and roadways, and can relocate offshore for the construction of stationary rigs and platforms. These barges also help expedite clean-up and reconstruction efforts for regions impacted by natural disasters such as floods and tsunamis.Crane Barge

A crane barge is a wide, rectangular vessel with a flat, reinforced deck containing a mounted crane. The barge is designed to carry heavy loads, or more specifically, large cranes for dredging, salvaging, or other commercial use.Cutterhead Dredge Barge

A cuttterhead dredge barge is used for mechanical dredging of the sediment off of a river or lake bottom. Due to the relatively shallow water, the dredging is done with the aid of a crane, and not the more advanced equipment required for deep-water dredging offshore. Cutterhead dredge barges are most often used when the area being dredged is too small and too costly for the more common hydraulic dredging.Deck Barge

A deck barge has a flat, reinforced top surface designed to carry cargo. Deck barges are for flat or calm water transport only. They also can be anchored for use as temporary or permanent work platforms and floating docks.Drilling Barge

Drilling barges are large, floating platforms used mostly for inland, shallow water drilling. This typically takes place in lakes, swamps, rivers, and canals. These barges are not self-propelled, and must be towed by tugboat from location to location. Suitable for still, shallow waters, drilling barges are not able to withstand the water movement experienced in large open water areas.Fuel Barge

Fuel barges are essentially what the names implies, a vessel that transports or stores fuel for the use and distribution of and among boats, barges and other maritime vessels. Fuel barges are most often stationary and used as re-fueling stations, but are also can transport fuel with the aid of tow-boats via calm-water canals, rivers and bays.Inland Hopper Barge

Inland hopper barges are large vessels that are designed to carry bulk dry cargoes, such as grain or coal, across inland waterways. Hopper barges load material dumped into it by a dredger and discharge the cargo through the bottom. A hopper barge carries its cargo inside, which is loaded directly through the top of the vessel.Jack Up Barge

Jack up barges are a self-contained combination of a drilling rig and a floating barge, fitted with long support legs that are dropped to the sea floor once the barge reaches the desired drilling location. Once the barge is properly positioned, the support legs are dropped to the seafloor and driven into the bottom to ensure vessel stability. A pre-loaded jacking mechanism attached to the barge and drilling system then raises the barge above the water to a predetermined height, so that it is unencumbered by wave, tidal and current conditions.Lay Barges

Lay barges are vessels specially equipped to lay submarine pipelines. These pipes serve as transportation for collected oil from water to land. The pipe is welded together on the barge and is then released in the form of a long, continuously welded pipeline down behind the barge as it moves forward.Lift Barge

Lift barges are large, flat-decked vessels designed to haul and transfer products and equipment too heavy for standard transportation. Many lift barges can also function as mobile dry docks; capable of lifting and securing vessels in excess of 15,000 tons.Living Quarters Barge

A living quarters barge houses the captain, officers and shipmen who are employed to work aboard a adjoining rig, boat or other maritime vessel. Living quarters barges, or barracks barges as they are sometimes known, may also be used to house military personnel who are operating in the vicinity. Some living quarters barges have been modified for recreational use, such as “floating hotels”, gaming casinos and other commercial entities.Spud Barge

A spud barge is a vessel that uses heavy timber or pipe as a means by which to moor. The timber or pipe is located in a well at the bottom of the boat, and acts in the same function as would an anchor. Spud barges are riverboats that are most commonly used was work barges, or as a loading or unloading platform.Ocean Barge

An ocean barge is designed for the transportation of large amounts of products or equipment across great distances. Their size, speed and relative fuel economy allows companies a cheaper option to air transport for their goods and services, though many of the products shipped are too large for standard freight-carrying airplanes. Ocean barges most commonly transport items such as tow-boats, various watercraft, automobiles and heavy lift equipment.Ocean Hopper Barge

Ocean hopper barges function in much the same capacity as inland hopper barges; carrying large or bulk commodities and products from port to port. However, these barges are designed to travel in open water, and have increased vessel mobility as a result.Tank Barge

Tank barges haul liquid cargo in holding tanks located inside the barge hull. They carry commodities such as antifreeze, molasses, petroleum, liquid fertilizers and bulk chemicals. Tank barges can carry up to 30,000 barrels of liquid cargo, but are not used as frequently as the more modernized transport barges.