Every year, the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) receives between 1,500 and 1,800 reports of accidents in UK waters. In 2022, the European Maritime Safety Agency (ESMA) reported 2,510 marine casualties and incidents.

Accidents at sea can often result in serious life-changing injuries and fatalities arising from a broad range of incidents, including:

  • Collisions between boats or other objects caused by negligent operation or navigation
  • Reckless use of or inexperience operating pleasure craft, such as jet skis
  • Negligently provided excursions such as parasailing, diving and snorkelling
  • Crew errors or carelessness
  • Improperly secured equipment or negligent crane and lifting operations
  • Equipment and safety failures during boarding or disembarking
  • Poorly maintained decks and amenities
  • Improper safety training and planning
  • Failures relating to safety protocols for lifeboats, life jackets, lighting and emergency procedures.

Claims relating to accidents at sea will likely involve complex international laws, regulations, conventions and cross-border issues. For example, there are different (often shorter) time limits for bringing a claim. Plus, some international conventions can significantly limit a shipowner’s liability, impacting the potential value of a claim. Also, most marine injury claims need to be brought in the specialist Admiralty Court.

Our international injury team of specialist cross-border lawyers is ranked number one in the UK by the legal directories. Our cases have involved successfully representing clients in a variety of marine injury claims, including:

  • The fatality of Mary McKee and the serious injury of Arthur McKee arising out of a collision between two boats during the America’s Cup in Bermuda. This was a complex case involving English and Bermudan law, the Athens Convention, the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims and the Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGs).
  • A client who sustained a brain injury and severe orthopaedic injuries through his employment for a Danish company when he was employed to work onboard a Dutch-owned ship that had docked at Hull when he was struck and crushed by a shipping container being loaded on to the ship.
  • A client who was staying at a luxury hotel in Vietnam and participated in a parasailing activity that was provided negligently, causing him a near-drowning injury and significant psychiatric trauma.
  • A US national who sustained a severe brain injury due to faulty equipment on a ship while travelling from Germany to Denmark.

We are also currently instructed on behalf of:

  • A Polish national who sustained a severe brain injury in an incident on a ship travelling to Miami.
  • An offshore wind technician who sustained severe facial injuries and psychological trauma when he fell 25 metres into the sea when a walk-to-work system suddenly retracted.
  • A Scottish national who sustained severe injuries following electrocution from faulty equipment on a ship whilst working.
  • A claim against a UK tour operator following a boat capsizing incident on a river excursion in Cambodia.

If you have been involved in a marine accident and want to explore the possibility of a claim, please contact us.

If you require assistance, please contact us or request a call from one of our lawyers.

Meet the International Injury Team

Our team is ranked No.1 in both Chambers and The Legal 500.

We are unique in that all of our partners are individually ranked by both of these well respected directories and have specialist accreditations from the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.

Life Beyond Injury

We have created a series of films that tell the stories of our clients who suffered traumatic injuries. Each individual has had to face their own challenges in order to lead a fulfilling life.

By sharing these stories, we hope that recently injured people can see that with the right support they too can overcome adversity and continue to lead full and active lives.

Life beyond injury