Crane Accidents

Man Hurt in Fairfield Barge Accident

06/27/09

Fairfield, Connecticut

A Norwalk man was seriously injured Friday when he was working on a floating barge off Pine Creek Avenue.

Paul Rysz was the foreman of the crew working on the barge that was replacing pilings in Pine Creek, a tributary off Long Island Sound that runs between Pine Creek Avenue and Fairfield Beach Road, according to town fire officials.

The creek is about 100-feet wide where the accident happened, according to reports, with water between three to seven feet deep.

Shortly after 3 p.m. a Fairfield Beach Road resident saw Rysz in the water and called 911, fire officials said.

The crew had finished its work and was preparing to return to Norwalk, where the barge is docked at Cove Marina, officials said. Rysz’s co-workers told officials that they were pulling up “spuds” – long metal poles that are dropped into the sand or mud to anchor the barge in place – when the accident happened. A crane was lifting the spud and Rysz was trying to secure a pin when he was thrown into the water, officials said.

Rysz’s co-workers didn’t see the accident happen, officials said, but saw him fall into the water. Robert Carocari, captain of the tug boat used to push the barge, jumped into the water and helped the victim swim to a nearby dock. Another worker, Robert Bradley helped pull the victim out of the water and onto the dock. When firefighters arrived they found the victim on the dock with serious injuries. He was taken to Bridgeport Hospital for treatmentand later transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital.

The state Department of Environmental Protection and the Coast Guard, along with the Fairfield Police, are investigating.

Category: Accident Report

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