Report released detailing fatal accident involving Mowi Scotland fish farm worker

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Worker was crushed between vessel and feed barge.

Last year, an incident resulted in a fatality of a man at one of the Mowi Scotland’s sea sites. Assistant Manager Clive Hendry died at one of its sea sites near Kyle of Lochalsh. 

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) released a summary report. This considered the conduct of the boat transfer operation, the cause of the crush injury and subsequent drowning, the emergency response, use of PPE and Mowi’s management of marine safety. 

MAIB investigates marine accidents involving UK vessels worldwide and all vessels in UK territorial waters. Investigations are thorough but are strictly limited to establishing cause, promoting awareness of risks and preventing recurrence.

At about 15:10 on 18 February 2020, the Ardintoul fish farm assistant manager drowned after falling into the water from a feed barge access ladder during a boat transfer. He stepped from the deck onto the ladder while “Beinn Na Caillich” was still moving forward and was crushed between the boat and the barge.

MAP: Google

A fish farm technician on board the barge attempted to stop the injured assistant manager from falling into the water by holding onto the back of his personal flotation device and oilskin jacket, but the severely injured casualty slipped out of them.

Despite the assistant manager being recovered from the water and the determined efforts of the fish farm workers, emergency services, and medical staff, the assistant manager could not be resuscitated.

The (MAIB) report concluded that the conduct of the boat transfer had not been properly planned or briefed and was not adequately supervised or controlled.

The government said that recommendations have been made to the owners to apply the standards set out in the Workboat Code Edition 2 to all its existing workboats and, specifically, to fully implement a safety management system across its fleet, as well as ensuring that it has appropriate marine expertise to oversee its marine operations.

The report noted that “safety recommendations shall in no case create a presumption of blame or liability”.