Man killed, others injured when vessel's line snaps at Port of Longview

Port of Longview - KATU image

LONGVIEW, Wash. – A man was killed and others were injured at the Port of Longview Thursday morning when a vessel line snapped in half and recoiled, according to Port of Longview officials.

Officers responded to the incident at 1:30 a.m.

According to officials, a vessel was moving along the dock from one loading hatch to another when one of the vessel’s lines snapped and flew back toward the dock and the vessel.

International Longshore Workers Union member Byron Jacobs, 34, was struck and killed. He was found dead at the scene.

"It's rough on all of us. Byron was a good friend, a great coworker and great family man. Words can't describe how upset we are," said Jake Ford, ILWU Local 21 President and Byron's friend.

The chief mate aboard the vessel was also struck and is in critical condition at Southwest Washington Medical Center.

Another longshoreman and security guard suffered minor injuries.

“This is a tragic day on the waterfront,” said Ford. “Byron was an active member of the union, loved his work and will be incredibly missed.”

Byron's wife, Megan, released a statement about her husband today:

"My husband was an absolutely AMAZING man, husband, father, brother, uncle and friend. Last night, he was fatally injured at work while working a job that he loved and was very proud of. He is loved and missed very much. Please pray for our family while we take this time to grieve."

Byron's friends tell KATU News that being a longshoreman was in his blood. Byron was a third-generation longshoreman that loved his job.

"He just always did whatever it took for our union and no one will ever forget what he’s done," Ford said.

Officials say the vessel, MV ANSAC Splendor, remains docked at the Port’s Berth 5. The Port of Longview stopped all operations for the remainder of the day in light of what happened and say they won't reopen until Friday morning.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Washington State Labor and Industries are investigating.

A meal train has been set up for the family where donations can be made to help them. An account has also been set up at the Lower Columbia Longshoremen's Federal Credit Union under the name "Megan Jacobs" where anyone can also donate to help Byron's wife and three kids.

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