Two workers were injured after a dock collapsed in New Bedford on Wednesday afternoon. Fire chief Scott Kruger told WPRI 12 News that firefighters rushed to Hervey Tichon Avenue following reports of the dock giving way. The dock's bulkhead was under construction when it split from the rest of the pier and sank. It is still unclear whether that played a role in the fracture, as the structure was supported by standard wooden piles capped with concrete.
“Engineers are going to be taking a look at that,” Kruger explained.
Four workers were on the dock at the time of the collapse, and all fell into the water, with one needing rescue. Kruger said that two of the workers were transported to the hospital with injuries that didn’t appear to be life-threatening. The cleanup is described as a “long-term operation” as divers are in the process of removing equipment and material from the water.
“We’re trying to corral the debris that has made its way into the harbor,” Kruger states. “We’re concerned right now about debris floating into the harbor and the release of diesel and hydraulic fuel into the water.”
According to their property records, the property is owned by R.C.P Realty, which lists Ronald Enoksen as manager. Enoksen is president of Eastern Fisheries, a New Bedford-based company, the largest scallop company on the East Coast. The dock was previously used to dock some of the Eastern Fisheries scallop fleet. In an interview with The New Bedford Light, Enoksen said, “It was very, very sudden. We’re just lucky there were no fatalities.”
According to property records, the company purchased the waterfront property from the city in 2018 for $1.1 million under the condition that the company rebuild the deteriorating bulkhead.