Deckhand Crushed in Naknek

News from Alaska Dispatch:

Seattle tug deckhand dies in Naknek River barge accident
[li] Author: Dave Bendinger, KDLG [/li]> [li] Updated: 23 hours ago[/li]> [li] Published 1 day ago[/li]> [/ul]

Spencer V. Brewer, 20, died in an accident in the mouth of the Naknek River on Wednesday. (Facebook profile photo courtesy KDLG)

DILLINGHAM — A Seattle man died Wednesday after he was crushed between two barges in the Naknek River in Southwest Alaska.

Spencer Vaughn Brewer, 20, was a deckhand with Naknek Barge Lines.

 Bristol Bay Borough Police Chief Stan Swetzof, who interviewed  witnesses, said Brewer was on the tug Cross Point, coming back from  Egegik. When the tug reached three large barges moored in the mouth of  the Naknek River, the crew began helping repair a mooring line that was  fouled underneath a buoy.

 Unable to push one of the barges far enough back to fix the problem,  Brewer and another deckhand climbed aboard the smaller vessel, the  Scout, and climbed onto the buoy to attempt to unshackle it. Both were  wearing PFDs. The tide was pushing the barge into the buoy, and Brewer  was knocked into the water. He was able to hang on to a line for a  moment until the force of the outgoing tide sucked him underneath the  barge.

 Brewer resurfaced between two of the three barges, and found a foothold  to try and climb aboard, but those two barges were being pushed  together. Witnesses told police it was clear Brewer wouldn't make it up  in time, and they told him to get underwater to get out of the way. They  say he tried to do so, but his PFD prevented him from escaping harm and  he was crushed.

 Brewer's body was pulled downriver; he was recovered by the smaller  vessel and the crew attempted CPR. Emergency responders met the vessel  at the Peter Pan Seafoods plant dock and attempted CPR as well, but  Brewer could not be revived.

 Brewer's family was notified, and his body has been sent for an  autopsy. The U.S. Coast Guard and Occupational Safety and Health  Administration are investigating, according to police.

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That’s really sad. I pray for the family.

This is why, sometimes, wearing a work vest is a bad thing. RIP brother.