How improper inspection regulations of gold dredges lead to accidents and deaths

Comments (0)

gold dredgeImproper inspection regulations of gold dredges lead to accidents and deaths

In August 21, 2014 a man named Sean Beals, 39, from Seattle, Washington, was found dead floating in the water face down off the coast of Nome, Alaska after he was diving underwater off a 44-foot long gold dredge.  Nobody knows exactly why he died but they believe that he died of a medical emergency such as a heart attack while diving.  When the body was found floating, another crew member pulled him on deck and tried performing CPR but he was not responding.  His death was analyzed as a major marine incident that remains unknown. 

The Coast Guard requires that dredges must pass safety exams in order to go out mining

As of June 1, 2015, a new law that classified small gold dredges as "uninspected" is forcing gold dredges to pass an inspection by the Coast Guard to ensure that the people who are going out into the water are thinking about their safety.  

The 5 pieces of equipment a gold dredge must have to pass the inspection:

  1. flares
  2. lights
  3. life jackets
  4. fire extinguishing equipment
  5. other safety gear applicable to the vessel class     

Gold dredging can be a dangerous job to perform, especially if the safety equipment is not available for use in case a tragedy happens.  Many people are glad that the Coast Guard is implementing an inspection to be passed while others are angry at the fact that they are being forced to pass the inspection.  

The top 4 challenges of working on gold dredges

Since the new law came into effect, people who work on gold dredges are not happy with the standards they must meet in order to operate gold dredges.  Workers on gold dredges face many challenges, which include:

  • frostbite
  • temperatures under -30 degrees Fahrenheit
  • hypothermia, which is the condition of having an abnormally low body temperature  
  • death due to the fact gold miners dive under water which can be covered in ice 

To many people, because workers on gold dredges face such dangerous challenges, it seems obvious they would have as much safety equipment as possible to prevent people from being hurt or killed. For 

The Coast Guard requires that dredges must pass safety exams in order to go out mining

As of June 1, 2015, a new law that classified small gold dredges as uninspected is forcing gold dredges to pass an inspection by the Coast Guard to assure with the inspection that the people who are going out into the water are thinking about their safety.  

In order for the gold dredge to pass the inspection, it must contain:

  • flares
  • lights
  • life jackets
  • fire extinguishing equipment
  • other safety gear applicable to the vessel class     

Gold dredging can be a dangerous job to perform especially if the safety equipment is not available for use incase of a tragedy to occur.  Many people are glad that the Coast Guard is implementing an inspection to be passed while others are angry at the fact that they are being forced to pass the inspection.  In 2013, the Coast Guard visited Nome, Alaska, to monitor the safety of the mariners who work on these dredges.

According to statistics, two-thirds of every 30 inspection checks were satisfactory - the vessels passed the safety inspection. The other third that did not meet the safety requirements failed to have life jackets, flares, navigation lights, or fire extinguishers. The anger at having to pay for purchasing this safety equipment doesn't outweigh the risk of serious injury or death working on a dredge. At the end of the day, investing in safety equipment is far less expensive than the cost of not being able to work due to an injury or losing a life. 

The bottom line is that the increased enforcement is important because it allows for the gold miners that dive underwater to perform their duties in a much safer way.

Know your rights if you or a family member have been hurt on small gold dredges

Small gold dredge workers who are hurt while diving underwater may be able to recover financial compensation for what occurred.  Uninspected vessels can put your life at risk and the safety of others.  If you’ve been hurt on uninspected vessels or on small gold dredges, give us a call, we are here to help.  For more free information or help investigating an injury, reach out to our Houston office today by phone at 1-(888) 430-0906 or use the live chat on this page.

 

Be the first to comment!

Post a Comment

To reply to this message, enter your reply in the box labeled "Message", hit "Post Message."

Name:*

Email:* (will not be published)

Message:*

Notify me of follow-up comments via email.