Coast Guard Negligence

When people run into trouble at sea, they generally turn to the Coast Guard for assistance. However, Coast Guard rescue attempts are not always sucessful. Generally, the Coast Guard does not have an affirmative duty to rescue persons in distress, but once the Coast Guard undertakes a rescue operation, it must act with reasonable care.

Coast Guard rescue operations are judged according to the ‘good samaritan doctrine,’ under which a defendant is liable if its negligence makes the position of the person being rescued worse than if no rescue had been attempted at all.

Suits in Admiralty Act. Under the Suits in Admiralty Act, 46 U.S.C. 30901-30913, the United States of America (including its agencies such as the Coast Guard) waive sovereign inmmunity for admiralty claims in personam against the United States arising out of incidents involving United States’ merchant vessels. See Maritime Attorney Carlos F. Llinás’ most recent Complaint under the Suits in Admiralty Act.

If you have been injured during Coast Guard rescue operations, contact us for a free consultation.