Pier Allisions: Legal Point Of View

Pier allisions can lead to property damage, operational disruptions, and legal complexities.

A detailed scene capturing the moment of a pier allision. The image shows a large vessel making unintended contact with a wooden pier.


A pier allision occurs when a vessel, such as a ship, boat, or barge, unintentionally comes into contact with a stationary pier. These incidents vary in severity, from minor scrapes to significant structural damage. Understanding the specific circumstances of the allision is crucial to assess its impact.

Common Causes

Pier allisions can result from various factors, including navigational errors, equipment malfunctions, adverse weather conditions, or miscommunications between vessel operators and pier personnel. Investigating the root causes is essential to determine liability and implement preventive measures.


Responsibility may rest with the vessel operator, the crew, the pier owner or operator, or a combination of these parties. Liability considerations encompass factors such as negligence, compliance with safety regulations, and the condition of the pier.

Legal Considerations

Legal considerations involve the application of federal and international regulations, insurance claims, and potential litigation. Consulting maritime attorneys with expertise in such cases is advisable for all involved parties.

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