14 Aug 2008

Fishing company fined over finger-loss accident

8:20 pm on 14 August 2008

Sealord has been ordered to pay $63,000 in fines and reparations after a crew member lost four fingers in an accident at sea last year.

The fishing company was sentenced in the Nelson District Court for failing to ensure the safety of a worker and not providing proper training.

Bernard Hatcher, 26, lost four fingers when a hydraulically-operated hatch cover was closed on his right hand while he was working on the fishing vessel Rehua last July.

Sealord admitted two charges brought by Maritime New Zealand.

The company was fined $38,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $25,000.

Mr Hatcher told the court in a statement he finds everyday activities such as using cutlery or starting lawnmower very difficult.

Sealord says it is deeply disappointed the injury occured and that its injury rate is a quarter of what it was five years ago.