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Port Angeles Man Dies in Diving Accident

PA-Bay-300x150It is with great sadness that we report the death of a commercial diver who was working in the waters of Port Angeles. According to a statement issued by the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Anthony Gockerell, 35, died after his air cable apparently became entangled.

Peninsula Communications received the call that a commercial diver working at the Dungeness West geoduck track was in distress. Crewmembers reported that Gockerell signaled to the crew that his surface-supplied air umbilical cord was “unable to clear”, which the crew interpreted to mean that his cord was entangled in debris.

It was reported that crewmembers and officers with the State Department of Natural Resources (who were supervising the geoduck harvest) struggled for approximately two minutes before freeing Mr. Gockerell, who was diving in about 70 feet of water.

He was pulled aboard the 32-foot commercial fishing vessel he was diving from, then taken to the Port Angeles Boat Haven Marina. CPR was performed on the fishing vessel, then continued by Port Angeles Fire Department personnel as they transported him to Olympic Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 9:46 a.m.

The Clallam County Coroner’s Office has planned an autopsy, and the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident. Grayzone Seafood & Trade LLC holds the harvesting permit, and Mr. Gockerell was reportedly an employee of the company.

This tragic accident demonstrates the dangers commercial divers and commercial fishermen face each day. Diving accidents are often caused by unsafe equipment, poorly maintained equipment, as well as an improperly trained crew. The laws are complex, and it can be difficult to determine which laws are applicable to a specific case.

With over 65 years of combined experience in Jones Act and Maritime Law, the attorneys at Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC are some of the most experienced maritime lawyers in the nation. They have handled thousands of maritime injury accidents, including over 50 maritime wrongful death claims. They are uniquely qualified to handle diving injury claims and cases.

The Stacey & Jacobsen, PLLC team understands how diving accidents happen and how they could have been prevented. They are dedicated to getting fair compensation for clients. If you or a loved one has been involved in a diving accident, call today for a free consultation about your case.

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