Crewmember of dive support vessel dies after falling overboard while at the dock

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the death of a crewman on a dive support vessel who fell into a Louisiana bayou while the boat was docked.

The accident involving the moored boat DSV Sun River happened Jan. 7 in Bayou Boeuf, near Morgan City and the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said. Albert Simon Jr., 39, of Marksville, La., was killed in the incident, according to a statement from the Assumption Parish Sheriff.

The accident was reported at 1519 at a dock in the community of Bayou L’ourse, La. Search-and-rescue teams from Assumption and St. Mary’s parishes responded, along with the Coast Guard and the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

Assumption Parish deputies located Simon’s body about 90 minutes after the accident, the sheriff’s statement said.

Sun River, built in 1979, is 205 feet long and 44 feet wide and draws 15 feet of water. The vessel is operated by Legacy Offshore LLC of Broussard, La. The company specializes in sub-sea construction services in the Gulf of Mexico, at depths of up to 1,000 feet. The vessel’s owner is Trico Marine Assets Inc., according to recent inspection records.

Simon was working on the boat, and a fellow crewmember witnessed him fall off, the Assumption Parish Sheriff’s statement said.

Sun River‘s home port is in the Morgan City area. Legacy Offshore acquired the vessel in June 2009, according to an announcement on the company’s Web site. The boat has a very large 90-by-30-foot clear deck area.

The Coast Guard investigator handling the probe, Lt. Barbara Wilk, said the case was still under investigation in March. Wilk, based at Morgan City, declined to release further details.

Officials did not say whether Simon was wearing a life vest or not. Legacy Offshore Vice President Charles Zamora did not respond to a request for comment from Professional Mariner.

Simon is survived by his wife, son and four daughters. His body was sent to the New Orleans Forensic Center for an autopsy. The results of the autopsy, including cause of death, were unavailable from the Orleans Parish and Assumption Parish coroners in March.

Dom Yanchunas

By Professional Mariner Staff