At the water’s edge in Pockwood Pond, two barges are docked side by side. (Photo: Rushton Skinner)

A man died after entering a tank on a barge near Pockwood Pond and losing consciousness, police said Saturday morning.

Two other males who entered the tank to rescue him also lost consciousness during the incident, which occurred shortly after 9 a.m., according to a brief statement issued by Police Information Officer Akia Thomas-Nero.

The two would-be rescuers later regained consciousness, but they were transported to the Dr. D. Orlando Smith Hospital along with a fourth person after experiencing respiratory difficulties, police said.

In a video posted to Facebook, an ambulance can be seen pulling onto the barge, presumably in response to the incident. As of the Beacon’s print deadline yesterday afternoon, police had not named the deceased or provided further information.

Chief Fire Officer Zebalon McLean said Tuesday that Virgin Islands Fire and Rescue Services didn’t respond to the incident and that he could not provide additional information as an investigation is ongoing.

Labour Code

The Department of Labour and Workforce Development did not respond to requests for comment, but the 2010 Labour Code includes various rules designed to protect employees from dangerous work environments.

Employers, for instance, must take reasonable precautions to protect workers and ensure that “the workplace, machinery, equipment and processes” are “safe and without risk to [employee] safety and health as far as is reasonably possible.”

Employers must also “provide adequate ventilation in the workplace” and furnish “suitable protective equipment” in dangerous environments, the law states.

However, such rules often do not get enforced in the territory, which lacks a dedicated regulatory body like the United States’ Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to retired public officer Bennet Smith.

“In the United States, there’s the famous OSHA, which you hear about a lot,” said Mr. Smith, who posted about the issue on Facebook after the Saturday incident. “So that was my comment — a very simple comment that, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t really have [an agency comparable to OSHA].”

Mr. Smith, however, said he didn’t have any information about the Saturday death.