B.C. coroner calls for better safety training after young BMX champ dies at fish farm

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VICTORIA — The death of a Canadian BMX riding champion in a workplace accident at a Vancouver Island fish farm has prompted recommendations for safety training improvements.

A BC Coroners Service report classifies the death of 18-year-old deckhand Aidan Webber in March 2019 as accidental, resulting from crushing trauma from being pinned between a metal stanchion and a barge.

Webber, who was from Nanaimo, won Canada's BMX championship for junior men in 2018 and represented Canada at the world championships in 2016 in Colombia.

The coroner's report says the accident occurred at the open ocean farm in waters northeast of Port Hardy when Webber was attempting to secure the barge to a walkway when the barge rose up, pinning him.

The report says an investigation found the teen wasn't properly trained to safely do his job and the employer, Sea Roamer Marine Services of Courtenay, needs to develop and implement a formal training program for its workers.

Coroner Andrew Washbrook's report also recommends the employer, who was not immediately available for comment, keep a detailed record of all training and orientation provided to workers.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2021.

The Canadian Press