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Commercial fisherman drowned after fishing vessel capsized - Alaska.

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, FACE 92AK032, 1992 Mar; :1-7
A 16-year-old male commercial fisherman (the victim) became trapped and drowned after the commercial fishing vessel he was on capsized while under tow. The vessel (a bowpicker) had been disabled and anchored for 11 hours, with only the skipper and the victim on board. On the day of the incident, a tender came to tow the vessel back to port for repairs. Within 2 minutes of being taken in tow, the vessel capsized, trapping the skipper and the victim inside the pilot house. The skipper (a 20-year-old male) escaped and swam to safety. Several attempts were made to rescue the victim but none were successful. NIOSH researchers determined that to prevent similar occurrences, owners and/or skippers of commercial fishing vessels should: 1. obtain training in vessel stability, including factors that can lead to the deterioration of vessel stability and the measures that can be employed to maintain or restore stability, especially during towing operations 2. ensure that a constant watch is maintained while under tow, both on the towed and assisting vessels 3. ensure that all crew members wear a personal flotation device during a towing operation 4. ensure that vessel preventive maintenance is performed and documented 5. ensure that all non-essential personnel are removed from a vessel being towed.
Accident-analysis; Accident-potential; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Safety-education; Safety-equipment; Safety-practices; Safety-measures; Traumatic-injuries; Region-10; Work-practices; Work-analysis; Work-environment; Training; Occupational-accidents; Fishing-industry; Personal-protective-equipment
Publication Date
Document Type
Field Studies; Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
FACE-92AK032; Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-CCU-007089
SIC Code
NAICS-11; NAICS-1141
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division