Alaska Tug Deckhand Killed in Barge Accident

Spencer Brewer (undated Facebook profile photo)

By MarEx 2016-07-01 21:24:56

On Wednesday, tug deckhand Spencer Brewer lost his life in an accident on the Naknek River, near Bristol Bay, Alaska. 

Brewer, 20, was working on repairing a barge mooring line which had fouled on a buoy, said Bristol Bay Borough Police Chief Stan Swetzof, speaking to NPR affiliate KDLG.

Brewer had climbed onto the buoy, but the tide was moving the barge towards the buoy and he was knocked off. The current pulled him under the barge, and he resurfaced between two of the three barges in the group. The barges were moving together, and Brewer tried to escape by climbing the pigeon holes, but he could not make it in time. His crewmates called to him to dive below the surface, but his life jacket prevented him from diving back down, said Swetzof. Brewer was crushed between the hulls. 

His body was recovered by his crewmates. Authorities with OSHA and with the U.S. Coast Guard are investigating the incident.