Deadly accident at the Port of Palm Beach

Man discovered in hull of a barge

RIVIERA BEACH, Fla. - A man who died while working on a barge at the Port of Palm Beach has been identified as 56-year-old Russell Rivenburg of Loxahatchee, according to Rose Anne Brown, spokeswoman for Riviera Beach Police Department.

Fire rescue crews were initially dispatched to a call of a chemical emergency at approximately 11:10 a.m. They say they soon realized chemicals were not involved and it turned into a rescue situation.

"He's a maintenance worker who actually went into the hull of a ship to do maintenance or check on something and was unable to get out," said Julie Houston Trieste with the Port of Palm Beach.

Rivenburg worked for Shore Line Construction in Pembroke Pines, according to the Port's director..

Fire rescue crews went into a hull to rescue him. They say they found him face down.

"There are no chemicals involved. There's no threat to the community," Houston Trieste said.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Manuel Almira, executive director of the port, said, ""On behalf of everyone at the Port of Palm Beach, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of the gentleman who lost his life in today's accident.

"Safety and security are a top priority at the Port of Palm Beach and we are working with investigators as they determine the cause of this accident. 
 
"While the victim is not an employee of the Port of Palm Beach, those of us in the maritime industry recognize the importance of all marine workers and their value in sustaining our operations."
 
In an interview with WPTV, Almira questioned why the worker was allowed to go into the hull by himself.
 
OSHA was on the scene of the incident Thursday evening.
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