Dredge pipes are used to conduct dredging operations, which are intended to clean out the bed of a harbor, river or some other area of water by scooping out the weeds, mud and trash. These sites are essentially construction zones on the water, and yet, they are usually not visible to boaters. They can pose a serious danger for approaching vessels, particularly in low visibility conditions.
That is why the companies and government agencies responsible for carrying out these operations owe a duty of care to make sure there are warnings or signs so boaters know to steer clear. The recent case of C.F. Bean v. Barhanovich involves a boater who was killed when the outboard engine of his fishing boat struck an underwater dredge pipe. The pipe flipped into his boat and fatally struck him. Continue reading →