Sea Watch worker dies after accident at New Bedford plant

A 63-year-old worker at Sea Watch International’s New Bedford, Massachusetts, U.S.A. seafood processing plant died on 6 January after suffering a workplace injury on 2 January.

William Couto, of Acushnet, Massachusetts, was injured when his clothing became entangled in a running motor, according to the nonprofit Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH). 

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) opened an investigation the day of the accident. The inspection is ongoing, an OSHA spokesperson told South Coast Today.

Couto had worked as a maintenance mechanic for various companies in the seafood industry for more than 35 years, according to his obituary.

Couto’s death represents the second fatality at Sea Watch’s New Bedford plant in the past five years. In January 2014, Victor Gerena, an employee who had worked at the plant for 15 years, was killed after being caught in a clam-shucking machine. The accident resulted in Sea Watch International receiving nine OSHA violations, seven of which were classified as serious, according to MassCOSH. 

Easton, Maryland, U.S.A-based Sea Watch International is one of the country’s largest clam processors, operating plants in New Bedford; Milford, Delaware; Easton, Maryland; and Mappsville, Virginia.

Photo courtesy of family of William Couto


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