Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-05-2013 Thread Starter
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Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

Have heard from two other hull cleaners that Sausalito-based William Swanson of Got Zinc? was killed while working in the Jack London Square Marina on Friday (5/3/13) but can find no independent verification of this. Phone calls and e-mails to Swanson's business have not been returned and I find nothing in the media about it. I hope it's not true, but does anybody have any info on this?

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-06-2013
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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

This is from Latitude 38 today.

Estuary Diver Found Dead

May 6, 2013 Oakland-Alameda Estuary

We've received word that the body of William Swanson, who owned the boat diving service Got Zinc, was found dead in the water near Jack London Square early Saturday morning. It's been reported that his wife called police last night when he didn't return home Friday night. It appears Swanson was working on boats behind Scott's on Friday, but police are investigating.
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post #3 of 16 Old 05-06-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

It is unclear whether Swanson was found in the water or not. Here is the unpublished press report from a local TV station, which I supplied to Latitude (I also provided other details, gathered from a marina employee) upon which they based their story:

IN OVERNIGHT NEWS:
OAKLAND POLICE FOUND A BODY IN THE OAKLAND ESTUARY. POLICE SAY THEY LOCATED THE MAN AT ABOUT 3:30 THIS MORNING, ON A PIER NEAR JACK LONDON SQUARE.
THE MAN'S WIFE TOLD POLICE HER HUSBAND CLEANS BOATS WORKING UNDERNEATH THEM OFTEN, AND SHE CALLED 9-1-1 WHEN HE DIDN'T COME HOME LAST NIGHT.
RIGHT NOW, POLICE SAY THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF FOUL PLAY, BUT THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

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post #4 of 16 Old 05-08-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

Spoke to the Coroner's Office today. Was told that they're,"Deferring the cause of death, but looking at natural causes." What I take from that is that they don't have autopsy results yet but found nothing to indicate foul play or accident. So maybe a heart attack or something along those lines.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

Stray current?

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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

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Stray current?
Don't believe that would fall under "natural causes."
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

Fast - just out of curiosity, do you typically test for current in the water before going in? And what's the "range" of such electrical current from a source in saltwater?


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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

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Fast - just out of curiosity, do you typically test for current in the water before going in?
No. Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) is extremely rare in saltwater. Almost all occurrences of ESD take place in freshwater. That being said, I unplug every boat I work on before I get in the water. Assuming that this death was not actually work-related, to my knowledge there has never been a serious injury or death in the hull cleaning industry in the Bay Area during the 18+ years I have been cleaning boat bottoms. And we're talking well over 1,000,000 in-water service events during that time. That's an impressive safety record IMHO and speaks volumes about the relative safety of working in marinas.

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And what's the "range" of such electrical current from a source in saltwater?
No idea.
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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

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Don't believe that would fall under "natural causes."
A few years back we had a couple of divers killed by stray current working near a dock in a harbor along the coast of Maine. Heart failure, I think, was the consequence. Stray current was the cause.

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post #10 of 16 Old 05-09-2013
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Re: Bay Area hull cleaner killed on the job?

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No. Electric Shock Drowning (ESD) is extremely rare in saltwater. Almost all occurrences of ESD take place in freshwater. That being said, I unplug every boat I work on before I get in the water. Assuming that this death was not actually work-related, to my knowledge there has never been a serious injury or death in the hull cleaning industry in the Bay Area during the 18+ years I have been cleaning boat bottoms. And we're talking well over 1,000,000 in-water service events during that time. That's an impressive safety record IMHO and speaks volumes about the relative safety of working in marinas.



No idea.
and as sad as it is that you had your first death, even with that record, you are going to start seeing all sorts of regulations passed to prevent the 1 in a million (literally) death

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