A salmon farming giant has been issued with safety recommendations after the death of a fish farm worker who drowned after being crushed between two boats.
Clive Hendry, 58, plunged into the water from a feeding barge ladder while trying to move between a pair of vessels on February 18 last year at Ardintoul Point in Loch Alsh in the Scottish Highlands.
He was severely injured after being crushed between the two, and despite a fellow fish worker grabbing his life jacket, Mr Hendry slipped out of it and into the water, said a fatal accident report from the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB).
The Ardintoul assistant manager was pulled from the water but could not be revived.
The report concluded that the “conduct of the boat transfer had not been properly planned or briefed and was not adequately supervised or controlled”.
Salmon farming firm Mowi Scotland Ltd has been advised 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”, said the MAIB.
Its report found that:
– The transfer of workers by boat had not been properly risk assessed, and safe systems of work had not been put in place.
– Crews had not conducted regular “man overboard” recovery drills and were not familiar with the vessel’s recovery equipment.
– Mowi Scotland Ltd did not have an effective marine safety management system and lacked staff with the experience to oversee its marine operations.
– Mr Hendry “did not appreciate the risk he was taking and was able to step across because the bulwark gate had been left in the open position and there were no crew on hand to supervise the transfer”.
The report notes that safety recommendations do not create a presumption of blame or liability.
It added that Mowi has introduced new equipment and training for man overboard scenarios and updated its risk assessments around moving between boats and lifejackets as well as undertaking other safety measures.