Trawlerman Loses Thumb In Accident

Accident on board a trawler

23.07.2008

A foreign fisherman has been involved in an accident on board a trawler in the Atlantic Ocean which resulted in him losing most of one of his thumbs.

The Latvian trawlerman was working on board a boat which is registered in Cornwall when the accident happened.

He was flown to Treliske Hospital in Truro by a search and rescue helicopter from RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, after the skipper rang Falmouth Coastguard.

The 29-year-old was working on the 21m Newlyn-registered Crystal Sea about 60 miles off the Isles of Scilly.

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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This was a very serious industrial accident. Due to the dangers involved in working at sea, employers of fishermen need to carry out a comprehensive risk assessment and implement a safe system of work designed to avoid accidents at work.

"I am seeing an increase in the numbers of cases involving migrant workers sometimes because language barriers preclude them from understanding and following safety advice that is given. Employers need to ensure not only that training is given, but that it is understood.

"I represent many workers in claims for compensation, following accidents at work in which they have been injured or killed."