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Coast Guard and OSHA Investigate Crush Death

A deckhand for Naknek Barge Lines, a subcontractor of Alaska Marine Lines, Spencer Vaughn Brewer, 20, of Seattle, WA, was crushed between two barges and killed in the mouth of the Naknek River, AK, on June 29, 2016.

According to the Bristol Bay Borough Police Department (BBBPD), on 6/29 Brewer rode on the tug CROSS POINT from Egegik to the mouth of the Naknek River where three barges were moored. One barge’s mooring line had fouled underneath a buoy, so Brewer, wearing a PFD, transferred to a smaller vessel and then climbed onto the buoy to fix the problem. The fierce outgoing tide pushed the barge into the buoy, knocked Brewer into the water and the tide sucked him underneath the barge.

Brewer resurfaced between two of the barges as they were being pushed together. Witnesses said they told him to get underwater to get out of the way. He failed and was crushed between the barges.

The Coast Guard and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating, according to BBBPD.