Houston Maritime Injury Lawyers — How Do Canal Locks Work?
Houston maritime injury attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard handle serious maritime accident lawsuits nationwide, including claims brought by sailors, passengers, and workers injured traveling to or from the Gulf of Mexico or Port of Houston.
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What Are Locks In The Panama Canal?
A lock is a device that raises and lowers ships, boats, tankers, and other maritime vessels.
Typically a series of gates open and close and fill with water, enabling vessels to travel through uneven levels of ground, such as through a canal.
Upstream Through a Lock
To go upstream through a lock, the vessel enters the lower lock and the lower gate is closed behind. The lock is then filled with water from upstream. The additional water causes the vessel to rise to the level of the upper gates, which are then opened. The upper vessel then exits the lock.
Downstream Through a lock
To go downstream through a lock, the process is reversed. The vessel enters the upper lock and the upper gate is closed behind it. Water is drained downstream, and the vessel falls to the level of the lower lock. The lower lock is then opened, and the vessel exits through the gate.
How Long Does It Take To Go Through A Canal Lock?
Traveling through a lock typically takes 10 to 20 minutes. That time is reduced if another vessel happens to travel the opposite way through the lock immediately before entry. When that occurs, the entering vessel does not have to wait for the lock to fill or drain with water before entering.
Double locks are side by side locks. These help to avoid congestion and increase the likelihood that an entering boat will have the lock set at its level (in its “favor”).
Prior to the recent expansion, the Panama Canal had three sets of double locks.
Houston Maritime Injury Lawyers
Maritime injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard are privileged to represent injured seamen, mariners, crew, and offshore workers who are injured in service of the ship.
These workers are often entitled to compensation under the Jones Act. In the tragic event of a maritime death, surviving family members are often entitled to compensation under the Death on the High Seas Act or DOSHA.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed offshore or in a maritime accident, please call us at 1-800-489-2216 for a free and confidential consultation.