Oil spill response worker killed in accident

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A Cook Inlet oil spill response worker has died of injuries suffered in an accident aboard a barge last week.

Jonathan Bradley Mudrick, 31, of Soldotna, died Saturday at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage.

Mudrick was hit in the head by a steel cable Thursday morning while working aboard a barge in Nikiski Bay, said Doug Lentsch, general manager of Cook Inlet Spill Prevention & Response Inc.

The accident occurred as CISPRI workers were bringing up the barge's two anchors to move the barge down to Seldovia for the winter, Lentsch said. The barge is loaded with boom, skimmers and other oil spill cleanup gear and is staged at Nikiski in the summer.

Mudrick was hit in the head when the cable holding an anchor came off a winch. The end of the cable struck Mudrick, Lentsch said.

The barge was about a half mile offshore. The crew loaded the injured worker onto a boat and ran to a dock, where an ambulance took Mudrick to the hospital in Soldotna, Lentsch said. From there, he was airlifted to Providence.

The cable wasn't supposed to unspool the way it did, he said.

''There's an accident investigation going on,'' Lentsch said, involving the Coast Guard and CISPRI. A federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration official also has inquired, he said.

CISPRI is a Nikiski-based oil spill response cooperative funded by the major oil companies operating in Cook Inlet.

Mudrick, an oil spill technician, had worked for CISPRI for almost two years, Lentsch said.

Born in Milwaukee, Mudrick moved to Homer in 1989 and then to Soldotna in 1997.

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