The port of Charleston, South Carolina is the largest deepwater port in the American Southeast and boasts a large and varied shipping industry, as well as some of the best fishing and pleasure boating in the South.
Many automobile manufacturers bring their vehicles into the port of Charleston due to its placement on both the southeast coast of America and the southern waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Looking southward, much of America’s shipments to and from Central America find themselves passing through Charleston, as the depth of the waters in the port allow easy passage for ships that have to transit the Panama Canal, as well as allowing an alternate route for boats that find themselves too large for the shallower waters of the Canal. The layout and construction of the port has allowed a great deal of advancement and development, featuring five current terminals serving different shipment operations, with a sixth terminal (expanding the harbor’s capacity by 50%) projected for 2018 which will only increase business and traffic through the port.
Between these shipments and the large number of federal military bases throughout the port, Charleston’s waters carry a high risk of accidents. The larger ships in the harbor such as home-docked cruise lines and Army/Navy ships create more traffic for other boats, and a recent incident involving both a Navy patrol boat and a municipal fire boat colliding with objects in the water illustrate this perfectly. Combine this with a number of recent and high-profile cases regarding the unseaworthiness of cruise vessels setting sail from Charleston, and you can imagine the sort of maritime legal issues one may encounter in these waters.
Charleston is also a frequent port of call for many cruise lines. Since 1913, large-scale cruise ships have called to the Port of Charleston for departure and long-term docking, with Carnival Cruise Lines home-porting many of their largest vessels in Charleston. But even for those not looking for a long-term cruise vessel, Charleston features both private and city-sponsored boating tours, vessel rentals, and ample fishing for the entire family.
If you spend a lot of time working on the water, or if you just enjoy a good cruise line or fishing trip, chances are good you will find yourself in the Port of Charleston. And if you need a Jones Act lawyer as a result of your time there,* then O’Bryan Baun Karamanian is the law firm for you. Contact us today with any questions you may have.
*Dennis M. O’Bryan is enrolled to practice before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals which hears appeals from the federal district courts of South Carolina. In those federal district courts in which he is not generally admitted to practice, such as in Charleston, he gains admission pro hac vice, on a case by case basis, by securing the sponsorship of a reputable local attorney. He is a member of the State Bar of Michigan, where his office is located.