Safety rec­om­men­da­tions from fisho drown­ing

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT -

NORTH­ERN Coro­ner Kevin Pri­estly has handed down five safety rec­om­men­da­tions re­gard­ing the death of a Cairns fish­er­man man, who drowned while work­ing off Townsville in 2013.

Glenn An­thony Wil­son, 39, was found float­ing face down in the wa­ter near his over­turned fish­ing dory. Mr Wil­son had been work­ing in the fish­ing in­dus­try for over 10 years and was con­sid­ered to be a skilled dory op­er­a­tor.

At the time of his death, Mr Wil­son had been work­ing aboard the ves­sel Nor­laus.

On July 17, 2013, Nor­laus had left Bowen har­bour with five fish­ing dories in tow. About 1am on July 26 the ves­sel ar­rived at Bow­den Reef, off of Townsville. Be­tween 7.30 and 8.30am four dories left, Mr Wil­son was in one. He was sighted through­out the day.

About 5.30pm Mr Wil­son up­side down dory was spot­ted by an­other fish­er­man.

Mr Wil­son was found float­ing face down in his or­ange wet weather gear and mo­tion­less with fish­ing line tan­gled around his lower right leg. He was not wear­ing a life jacket.

Based on ev­i­dence at the in­quest, Mr Pri­estly de­ter­mined he had been at­tempt­ing to re­trieve the an­chor, which was stuck in the reef. As he used the out­board and a short­ened an­chor line to try to dis­lodge the an­chor, the dory cap­sized and Mr Wil­son fell into the sea, his legs be­com­ing tan­gled in his fish­ing line.

Mr Pri­estly’s rec­om­men­da­tions were that the Aus­tralian Marine Safety Author­ity re­view the need to man­date the wear­ing of life jack­ets, de­velop safe work­ing pro­ce­dures through the ap­pli­ca­tion of risk man­age­ment, con­tinue to de­velop and im­ple­ment the new re­stricted Class C fish­ing ves­sel stan­dard to cover fish­ing op­er­a­tions, re­quire ves­sels meet cer­tain stan­dards and es­tab­lish an ef­fec­tive safety man­age­ment sys­tem.

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