Emergency services at the scene of the tragedy. Photo: Giovanni Aguilar Vera.

One dead, another seriously hurt at Chilean salmon farm

A man was killed and his assistant injured in an accident on a site run by Chile’s biggest salmon farmer, AquaChile, yesterday.

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The tragedy occurred at the Elena de AquaChile site in Melinka, Aysén region, while the men were carrying ropes from the deck of a feed barge.

Diving supervisor Juan Ruiz Gallardo died and intermediate diver Maikel Salazar Rojas received injuries related to serious fractures in the incident. Both men worked for Marinetech Servicios Marítimos, a Puerto Montt-based company which provides services to the salmon industry.

Stable condition

Rojas was initially transferred to the Melinka healthcare centre, from where he will be transferred to Puerto Montt. His condition is stable, according to AquaChile.

“We are very sad about this incident. Faced with these painful events, representatives of AquaChile have contacted the contracting company. We support the family of Juan Ruiz Gallardo in these difficult moments and we offer them our full support,” AquaChile told Fish Farming Expert’s Chilean sister site, Salmonexpert.

Internal investigation

The company said that it will collaborate with the investigations carried out by authorities and, in addition, “we will carry out our own internal investigation, to avoid events like this being repeated in the future”.

Manuel González, the owner of Marinetech Servicios Marítimos, told Salmonexpert that he is committed to supporting the families of the two affected by the tragedy, and that he is responding to the information requests of the investigating authorities.