BAYOU LA BATRE, Ala. (WALA) - Coast Guard officials said the U.S Department of Labor's Alabama office and The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have been called in to help the Coast Guard review the death of a 15-year-old shrimp boat worker .
Officials said the Department of Labor is investigating to see if any state laws were violated concerning the victim’s age. Authorities said OSHA is in the process of reviewing the case information.
Authorities said 15-year-old Steven Branch was killed Saturday night, August 11, while working on the shrimp boat the “Nettie Q” off the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Coast Guard officials said Branch died after getting stuck in a winch. A winch is a device that pulls in and lets out cable for hauling in shrimp.
"The individual had baggy shorts and his shorts had got caught up into the capstan or the drum of the winch that pulled lines. He was actually pulled in to the winch and suffered a head injury,” said U.S Coast Guard, Lt.Mike Clausen.
It’s unclear if Branch was working the device or standing near it.
Shrimpers said the winch is no doubt, the most dangerous piece of equipment on a boat.
"It’s a root of all evil as we call it,” said owner of Dominick Seafood Dominick Ficarino.