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Fatal fall into St. Lawrence Seaway still under investigation

An accident that resulted in the death of a 57-year-old Canadian man early Tuesday morning when he fell from a dock into the Saint Lawrence Seaway while trying to tie off the Canadian bulk carrier upon which he worked is currently under investigation by New York state authorities.

The accident happened at the Eisenhower Locks, near the community of Massena, New York. The inbound bulk carrier, known as the Spruceglen, had to wait for another vessel to clear the locks before entering. The crew of the Spruceglen hoisted the man to the dock in order to tie off the vessel as it waited its turn. However, upon reaching the dock, the man lost his balance and fell into the water. 

Massena Fire and Rescue responders assisted two Saint Lawrence Seaway employees in their attempt to rescue the man. Those who pulled the man out found him to be unresponsive even though he had been in the water for only a matter of minutes. An attempt at cardiopulmonary resuscitation was unsuccessful at reviving the victim, later pronounced dead following transportation to the hospital. 

Authorities hope that a planned autopsy will help determine whether cold air and water temperatures contributed to the man’s death or if he suffered a medical episode prior to his fall. 

Many different factors of a maritime accident can contribute to injury or death. Those who have suffered from an accident on the water, whether as the victim or members of a victim’s family, may find it helpful to consult an admiralty and maritime attorney.

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