Diver airlifted from Northern Harvest mass mortality clean up site

Diver rushed to hospital – which is 424km away from site – after suffering from the “bends” during clean up.

CBC reports that a diver who was working deep inside one of the Mowi-owned Northern Harvest pens has been airlifted out. The government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, issued a stop-work order on Monday for all all diving operations.

“The diver was working deep inside one of the dead salmon pens in Fortune Bay and rose too quickly, apparently suffering decompression sickness, which is otherwise known as the bends,” CBC wrote.

The unnamed diver had to be airlifted from Botwood to St. John’s – which is 424km away.

SalmonBusiness reported last week that the Mowi-owned Northern Harvest has put in place a Mass Mortality plan after a yet-undisclosed amount of salmon died.

On Thursday, video reportage from the publication showed huge amounts of pink liquid flowing from the side of two large vessels at one cleanup site in Fortune Bay. Large amounts of white fatty matter can also be seen on the ocean surface.

SalmonBusiness received the following statement from Northern Harvest Sea Farms.

“Northern Harvest Sea Farms does not employ divers as staff, but employs third party dive service companies to perform needed dive work. One of those service companies has advised Northern Harvest Sea Farms of a matter requiring the involvement of the province’s Occupational Health and Safety authority. Since that time, diver operations have been temporarily halted to investigate.

“In order to work for Northern Harvest Sea Farms, dive service contractors are required to adhere to CSA standards regarding diver safety and practices. Northern Harvest Sea Farms’ Health and Safety Officer continues to work with the third party company and the provincial Occupational Health and Safety authority in investigating this matter. Clean up activity can continue despite dive activity being temporarily stopped.”


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