A worker has died after falling from a platform into water at a Kiewit Offshore Services yard near Corpus Christi, Texas.
The incident occurred at around 1:30pm on Saturday 1 October, when he was last seen wearing a manually inflatable blue life jacket, safety harness and tool belt, according to a US Coast Guard report.
The Coast Guard’s Corpus Christi unit reported it received a call at 1:45pm from the Corpus Christi Police Department stating a scaffolder had fallen off a platform and entered the water in La Quinta Channel.
The on-site safety officer reported the man did not resurface and had been missing for 15 minutes.
Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and diverted an airborne MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi and a 29-foot response boat from a station at Port Aransas.
However, it later called off its search. At 5:30pm the same day, commercial divers reported finding a body matching the man’s description near the platform.
Local police later confirmed his identity as 29-year-old Ricardo Jazael Laredo Padron from Aransas Pass.
Aransas Pass police later said that the man was found using sonar and confirmed by other vessels assisting with the search.
The worker’s inflatable personal flotation device (PFD) failed to deploy, which likely contributed to his death, the department said.
Kiewit’s 555-acre facility near Corpus Christi specialises in the fabrication and integration of large, offshore projects and the integration of hulls and topsides, according to its website.
A spokesperson for the company confirmed the incident to other media.
“This news is devastating and our hearts go out to the subcontractor employee’s family, friends and coworkers. We are very thankful to the Coast Guard, local dive teams and other first responders who quickly and diligently responded to the scene on Saturday. This week, we will conduct mandatory safety stand downs with all facility personnel,” they said in a statement.
They added that the company would be working with authorities to investigate the incident.