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Fishermen poisoned by lethal gas

Posted in: Workplace Injuries Wrongful & Accidental Death 

Two fishermen have died after being poisoned by lethal gas in their bunks on a vessel in Whitby. An investigation into the accident found that the men had lit the grill of the butane gas cooker to heat up the sleeping area in the wheelhouse, which resulted in a high expulsion of carbon monoxide.  Mark Arries (26) from Blyth, Northumberland, and Edward Ide (21) from Amble, Northumberland, had been resting in the scallop dredger Eshcol when the accident happened.

Paramedics declared the men dead at the scene on the 15th of January.  Mr Ide had a four-month-old son, and Mr Arries was a father of two.  The initial investigation found that the two men had not been seen by other fishermen in the morning, so a group of them from nearby fishing vessels forced open the door of the wheelhouse.  Both of the men were dead in their bunks. The exact circumstances of the accident will be uncovered in a report, which is soon to be complied by ‘The Marine Accident Investigation Branch’.

Crewmembers must be vigilant

The initial report stated: “The gas grill was still lit and the wheelhouse was full of fumes. The two men were dead in their bunks. Eshcol was not fitted with a carbon monoxide alarm”.

A spokesperson from ‘The Marine Accident Investigation Branch’ stressed that gas cookers are not designed for domestic heating and need to be checked against safety regulations frequently.  They continued by highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide and said that all crewmembers have to be particularly vigilant to recognise the first signs of poisoning.  

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