Fisherman dies hauling in anchor

A Homer based fisherman from Wisconsin died Thursday after becoming entangled in an anchor chain and pulled into a motorized winch.

 

Alaska State Troopers reported Lewis Byerly, 55, was working north of Ninilchik aboard the 62-foot Fishing Vessel Anna Lane about 1.5 miles off shore in the Cook Inlet, when the accident happened.

Troopers received a 911 call at 9:10 a.m. from the one other crew member onboard who told troopers Byerly was caught in the anchor winch and he was unable to get him out.

Ninilchik Emergency Medical Services responded to the incident aboard a charter fishing vessel. Byerly was dead upon EMS arrival.

Trooper investigation revealed Byerly was pulling the anchor up with the motorized winch when he caught his hand in the chain. The rest of his body was pulled in by the winch, which caused the fatal injuries.

The winch and its housing is set into the deck of the boat.

Trooper spokesperson Beth Ipsen said Byerly was experienced with commercial fishing equipment from his years visiting Alaska.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration were informed of the accident. Byerly’s next of kind was notified.

The Anna Lane returned to its home port in Homer, so troopers and U.S. Coast Guard Maine Safety Detachment personnel can further investigate the accident.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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