May 26, 2019

Fisherman hospitalized after losing four fingers

BEALS — Duane Carver, a 45-year-old Beals fisherman who lost the four fingers of his right hand in an accident Monday at a Carver Industries lobster pound, was listed in fair condition Tuesday at Eastern Maine Medical Center at Bangor.

Bruce Colbeth, an employee at Carver Industries at Beals, said Tuesday that Carver telephoned his office from his hospital room and talked with him and other CI employees.

“He is a very good man and a very tough man. Mentally, he is in just great shape. He wanted to check on us and to encourage us to keep things going,” Colbeth said.

Surgeons were unable to reattach Carver’s fingers that were severed when his gloved right hand became entangled with rope on a rotating winch. Carver was using the power winch and its endless rope to pull a lobster drag across a frozen cove.

The machinery was operating in a small floating building that had one side open facing a large hole in the ice. Many times during the day, the drag had been hauled up through the hole to allow workmen to collect lobsters and place them in wooden crates for shipment.

At about 4:45 p.m. Monday, during the last drag of the day, a knotty splice in the rope caught on Carver’s glove and hauled his fingers into the rotating winch.

Clifton Beal, one of four men who were working with Carver in the shelter, saw the accident and turned off the winch.

While pound manager Lyman Seavey, Oscar Norton, and Hiram Owen Alley were attending to Carver, Beal ran about 150 yards east across the ice to the pound-keeper’s cottage and called the Beals ambulance.

Meanwhile, Albert Carver had helped his injured cousin walk more than 100 yards west across the ice to the cove’s main wharf and long stairway to Albert Carver’s truck. Others who assisted at the scene were Jay Kelley and Spencer Norton.

At 5:10 p.m., Carver received emergency treatment at the Arnold Memorial Building at Jonesport, and at 5:35 p.m. was transported by the Beals Ambulance Service to the Maine Coast Memorial Hospital at Ellsworth. Later, he was transferred to EMMC.

According to Carver’s relatives at Beals, surgery at EMMC is expected to help the fisherman retain the use of his thumb and some of the normal grip of his right hand.

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