Skip to content

Southeastern District
Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety and Health


I.D. 22-00619
Hamilton Pit
Golden Triangle Sand & Gravel, Incorporated
Hamilton, Monroe County, Mississippi

December 12, 1995


W. L. Wilkie
Supervisory Mine Inspector


J. O. Garcia
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Originating Office
Mine Safety and Health Administration
135 Gemini Circle, Suite 212
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Martin Rosta
District Manager


Jay B. Boyd, dredge operator, age 24, drowned at about 10:30 a.m. on December 12, 1995, when he fell from a boat while working on the dredge suction pipe. The victim had a total of 2 years, 2 months mining experience, two of these months were with this company.

The MSHA Southeastern District Office was notified of the accident at 12:15 p.m. on December 12, 1995, by a telephone call from Steve Cook, owner of Golden Triangle Sand and Gravel, Incorporated. An investigation was started the same day.

The Hamilton Pit, a sand and gravel operation, owned and operated by Golden Triangle Sand and Gravel, Incorporated, was located along Highway 45 about 5 miles south of Hamilton, Monroe County, Mississippi. Operating officials were Steve Cook, general manager and Roger Collins, foreman. The dredge and plant normally operated one, 8-hour shift a day, 5 days a week. A total of 3 people was employed.

Sand and gravel was dredged from a pond and pumped to shore where it was screened, sized and stockpiled. The product was used primarily for concrete and asphalt.

The last regular inspection at this operation was conducted on May 9, 1995.


The dredge, located in a pond approximately 50 feet from the shore, had a 10-inch suction line and an 8-inch discharge line and was powered by a 350 horsepower diesel engine.

The boat used to access the dredge was of steel construction, 13 feet long, 4 feet wide, and weighed approximately 1000 pounds.

Life jackets were available but not used on the day of the accident.


On the day of the accident, Jay B. Boyd, victim, reported to work at 7:00 a.m., his regular starting time. Using the work boat, he went to the dredge, started it, and began pumping material.

At about 9:30 a.m., the suction line on the primer pump developed a leak. Boyd radioed Roger Collins, foreman, to report he had stopped the dredge because it needed repairs. He then went to shore to get the necessary materials to make the repairs.

Boyd and Tony Griffin, front-end loader operator, returned to the dredge to repair the leak. While Griffin continued to work on the suction line on the primer pump, Boyd raised the suction pipe located at the front of the dredge and told Griffin he was going to check it because he thought it might be obstructed.

Boyd got in the work boat and paddled toward the suction pipe. About 5 minutes later Griffin went to the front of the dredge to look for Boyd but did not see him. He saw the work boat at the edge of the pond and Boyd's cap floating in the water. He radioed Collins to report that Boyd may have fallen in the water.

Collins immediately went to the bank in front of the dredge and started looking for and calling for Boyd. He dove into the water several times until he became too exhausted to continue. Collins then radioed 911 and returned to the dredge and resumed diving to try and locate Boyd. The emergency team and two county deputy sheriffs arrived at the scene in approximately 15 minutes.

Rescue efforts continued and at 10:30 a.m. the victim was recovered from 14 feet of water. CPR was performed until the victim was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner.


The direct cause of the accident was failure to wear a life jacket while performing work where there was danger of falling into water. A contributing factor may have been the victim had a 0.20% ethyl alcohol blood level at the time of the accident.


Citation No. 4358391 was issued on January 19, 1996, under the provisions of 104(d)(1) for violation of Standard 56.15020:

A fatal accident occurred at this operation on December 12, 1995, when the dredge operator was standing on the work boat seat attempting to remove rock obstruction from the end of the 10" suction line and fell into the water, which was approximately 14 feet deep and drowned. He was not wearing a life jacket. The foreman was aware that the victim went to the dredge without a life jacket.

This is an unwarrantable failure.

This citation was terminated on January 19, 1996. Life jackets were brought to the dredge and a safety meeting was held with all the employees emphasizing the need to wear life jackets.

Citation No. 4088143 was issued on February 20, 1996, under the provisions of 104(a) for a violation of 56.20001:

On December 12, 1995, a dredge operator was fatally injured when he fell from a work boat into 14 feet of water and drowned. The autopsy report showed the victim's blood contained 0.20% ethyl alcohol. The employee was intoxicated at the time the accident occurred and management permitted him to work while under the influence. This citation was issued upon receipt of the autopsy report which was received by MSHA on February 15, 1996.

This citation was terminated on February 20, 1996. A foreman or competent and reliable person will be available at the start of all work shifts to insure that this violation will not recur in the future.

Respectfully submitted by:

/s/ W. L. Wilkie
Supervisory Mine Inspector

/s/ J. O. Garcia
Mine Safety and Health Inspector

Approved by:
Martin Rosta
District Manager
Related Fatal Alert Bulletin:
Fatal Alert Bulletin Icon [FAB95M47]