The March oil spill that occurred in the Houston Ship Channel is just one of hundreds of oil spills that happen in Galveston Bay each year. In fact, since 1998, 285 oil spills a year occur in Galveston Bay. Fortunately, most of those spills are tiny. However, the spill that occurred on March 22 resulted in 170,000 gallons of oil spilling into the Houston Ship Channel.
The accident occurred when a ship collided with a barge that was carrying 700,000 gallons of heavy crude oil. According to experts, the oil spill could have been prevented. The ships were traveling in heavy fog. The cargo ship's captain warned the tugboat captain not to cross in front of him, and the vehicles later collided. Unlike air travel, where air traffic controllers determine which paths airplanes take in order to avoid collisions, vessel captains are responsible for setting their own courses and avoiding each other. Unfortunately, in this case heavy fog and a lack of clear communication resulted in a massive spill.
The spill had a big impact on marine life in the area, as well as economic conditions. Much of the beach area around Galveston Island was closed for a period, which affected local businesses. In addition, seafood restaurants and fishermen were negatively impacted because of the effect of the oil on fish, shrimp, and other marine animals.
It's important that oil companies, as well as shipping companies, be held financially responsible when an oil spill costs a business or individual money. If you have been negatively impacted by the Galveston oil spill, call the Houston personal injury attorneys at Kennedy Hodges at 713-489-9493. You can also learn more about our firm on LinkedIn. We offer free consultations, so call and schedule yours today.