BC investigators cite loose hatch, 'non-functional' PFD in fatal sinking


(VANCOUVER, British Columbia) — WorkSafeBC has cited several factors in the death of a Kelowna mill worker who drowned when the boom boat he was operating sank, including an improperly closed hatch and an improper personal flotation device (PFD), Global News reported.

On Friday, WorkSafeBC released a 22-page report on the incident, which occurred at Tolko Industries Ltd. on Jan. 30, 2017, and claimed the life of Ivor Lundin, 57.

The report, which had some redacted sections, listed the main cause of the incident as an improperly closed engine hatch, which caused the boat to become swamped and sink. Also listed as contributing factors were an improper and "non-functional" personal flotation device; failure to identify hazards when working alone or in isolation; and failure to implement a drug and alcohol policy in a timely fashion.

The drowning occurred in Tolko’s log storage pond on Okanagan Lake. A boom boat is a purpose-built tugboat that moves raw logs.

The boom boat was reportedly operating approximately 150 feet from shore. Lundin, who was unable to escape from the boat, drowned in approximately 10 feet of water. WorkSafeBC said the PFD worn by Lundin “was not appropriate for the task at hand because it was neither inherently buoyant nor automatically inflatable.”

Click here to read the story.

By Professional Mariner Staff