-By Joseph Domelowicz
For the Transcript
A Winthrop man was tragically killed on Monday, when amarine winch he was operating at a local waterfront business on Pleasant Street snapped free and pinned him between the winch and a building on the property.
Pat Marino, who was operating the winch at 554 Pleasant Street, and died in emergency surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston,just a few hours after Winthrop firefighters freed him from his trap and performed CPR at the scene.
According to a broadcast report, he was 73 years of age. The accident is now being investigated by local police and fire authorities who responded to the scene, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Massachusetts State Police and the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office, all of whom are attempting to determine if the tragic accident could have been avoided. However, a report on WCVB Channel 5 on Tuesday cited a town official who claimed that there was no permit on file for the construction/installation of the winch.
“The gentleman was operating a winch at the site, helping to pull a boat out of the water,” explained Fire Chief Paul Flanagan. “It appears that two bolts holding the winch inplace fail causing the winch to snap free and pinning the man between the machine and the building.”
According to Chief Flanagan, the 911 call, made from a cellphone, was routed by State Police to the Winthrop Fire Department and a rescue team was on the scene within two minutes. It took rescuers about12 to 15 minutes to free Marino from his position between the building and the winch.
“He was pinned under about a two and a half ton winch, and was against the building,” said Flanagan. “The rescue crew had to cut into the building and use an airbag to lift the winch into a position that he could be pulled free.”
Police Chief Terence Delehanty said on Tuesday night that the investigation into the accident is on-going and being led by Lieutenant Detective Brian Perrin.
“This was a tragic industrial accident, the victim was operating the winch at the time of the accident, but the investigation will determine if he was an employee or what his status was there,” said Chief Delehanty. “We’re also investigating whether everyone there had the proper licenses to operate this kind of machinery etc., but it really was a terrible accident and our thoughts and prayers go out to the Marino family at this time for their loss.”
Flanagan and Delehanty also praised the efforts of the rescue crews who freed Marino and attempted to save his life.
“This was an extremely difficult and technical rescue scenario, with specialized equipment,” said Chief Flanagan. “It’s a credit to the men onthe department who responded that they were able to free him and help get him into surgery. I know they feel badly that he didn’t make it.”
Chief Delehanty added, “The fire department did a superb job in this very difficult rescue. I know Chief Flanagan is proud of his officers and the way they performed, and he should be proud of them.”