A tragic accident occurred on a United States Navy ship docked in Bayonne, where essential workers continue to operate across the nation amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The accident involved an industrial worker at the Bayonne Dry Dock. The fatal accident occurred on April 19. According to Bayonne Fire Chief Keith Weaver, the man fell to his death while working on the ship.
Responding officers from the Bayonne Fire Department were dispatched to the scene at the Bayonne Dry Dock around 9:26 a.m.
According to Weaver, arriving firefighters found a worker on the ship in the forward bow section of the USNS Red Cloud. The worker was employed by a painting contractor at the dry dock.
The worker fell approximately 35 feet into a confined space within the ship.
Firefighters set up for a technical rescue and descended into the hold, where first responders found the worker unresponsive. He was pronounced dead at the scene, Weaver said.
The incident is under investigation by the Port Authority Police. The worker was a 25-year-old male. No further information has been released at this time.
The USNS Red Cloud is currently in the dry dock for repairs, according to Weaver.
Outrage and condolences
Many residents were quick to respond to the news on social media, offering their thoughts and prayers for the young man. Bayonne residents responded to a Facebook post by the Bayonne Office of Emergency Management detailing the incident.
“Terrible, he didn’t begin to live yet,” Susanne Ciano wrote. “God rest his soul.”
Others alleged there was a lack of safety measures onboard the ship.
Janet Krieg Gavrun wrote, “OMG, come on this is 2020 no safety harness, net, something to protect the worker. Condolences to his family.”
Some residents suggested the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should get involved. It’s not clear if there were any safety measures in place while the man was working.
The Bayonne Fire Department has so far deemed the worker’s death an accident as the investigation continues.
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