A Wisconsin fishermen who got his hand and body caught in an anchor winch on a Homer fishing boat on July 4 died of his injuries. Ninilchik Emergency Services medics responded to the boat and pronounced Lewis Byerly, 55, dead. The F/V Anna Lane was about 1.5 miles offshore of Ninilchik at the time of the incident and being worked as a fish tender.
According to an Alaska State Troopers press release, the skipper of the Anna Lane reported that at about 9:10 a.m. Byerly was caught in the anchor winch and they could not get him out. Ninilchik EMS responded in a charter fishing boat.
An initial investigation showed Byerly got his hand caught in the anchor chain as he pulled the anchor up using a motorized winch. The winch pulled the rest of his body in, causing fatal injuries.
Troopers notified the U.S. Coast Guard and the Occupational Safety and Hazard Administration of the incident. OSHA referred the case to the Coast Guard, and it is investigating, said Lt. William Albright of the Marine Safety Detachment, Homer.
The Anna Lane is owned by the Barb Scalzi family. Luke Scalzi has been the captain of the Anna Lane when it fishes commercially for halibut, but he was not running the boat at the time of the incident.