The Boy Roel, a 15m fishing vessel, lies alongside at a wharf. Photo taken 2018
The Boy Roel, a 15m fishing vessel, lies alongside at a wharf. Photo taken 2018
Fishing vessel Boy Roel, serious workplace injury, Off Tauranga, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand, 12 December 2022
Occurrence Date
Report Publication Date
What happened
On 12 December 2022 the Danish seine fishing vessel Boy Roel was fishing in the Bay of Plenty. While a net was being hauled from the seabed, the skipper climbed over the top of a winch to access the wheelhouse. The skipper’s leg became caught and was drawn into the rope that was hauling in the net as the rope wound around the winch drum.
The skipper sustained multiple fractures and head injuries.

Why it happened
The winch could only be controlled from the wheelhouse; there were no remote means to stop it operating in cases of emergency.
The skipper was in a rush to access the wheelhouse and was distracted as they climbed over the winch.
The bottoms of the skipper’s waterproof leggings were unsecured. This allowed them to be drawn into the rope as it wound around the winch.

What we can learn
Unguarded winch arrangements on fishing vessels are hazards that must be thoroughly assessed to reduce the risk of harm.
Seafarers should, where possible, avoid climbing over unguarded moving machinery and ropes and rigging under tension.
Loose clothing is a significant hazard when working around running machinery.
It is important that vessel operators conduct thorough risk assessments to identify and control all hazards that could result in harm.

Who may benefit
Fishers and all other seafarers, fishing boat operators and anyone who works around moving machinery, may benefit from the findings in this report.