Compensation awarded to relatives of worker who died at Ventisqueros salmon farm

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Walter Balboa Seguel, a supervising diver, died in 2006 when he became entangled in a sea lion protective net.

Chile’s Supreme Court has ordered sentenced Ventisqueros as well as Servicios de Mar Engineering Limitada (Acermar) to pay EUR 188 thousand in compensation to the relatives of the deceased worker, according to diarioconstitucional.cl.

The First Chamber of the highest court decided to sentence the defendants for their responsibility in the death of Walter Balboa Seguel, who worked as a supervising diver, and was hired by equipment supplier Acermar, in the “El Cholgo” salmon farm in Los Lagos region.

The incident happened on March 20, 2006, when Seguel dived 38m deep to cut a sea lion protective net. He became entangled and could not move while his oxygen depleted until it was empty. Despite efforts to resuscitate him afterwards he could not be revived.

The court found that both companies failed to have adequate supervision and inspection measures in place during the incident, even though Seguel voluntarily dove to a depth lower than recommended with older equipment.

The ruling stated that “as regards the responsibility that can be attributed to defendant Ventisqueros SA, in its capacity as owner of the salmon farm where the accident occurred, it had to prove that it maintained the sanitary and environmental conditions to protect life at that time and health of the workers who worked there.”

The ruling stated that they “failed to demonstrate” that.