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APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MAINE [Hon. Gene Carter, U.S. District Judge]

In June 1998, Timothy Hopkins was injured at sea while serving aboard the F/V Jamie & Ashley. The accident occurred while the ship was letting out a fishing net from a reel mounted at the aft end of the vessel. The reel was controlled by another crew member, Ben Farrington, who operated hydraulic controls on the port side. Hopkins was standing on the starboard side of the reel as the net unwound into the sea.

During the unwinding, a portion of the net slipped off the port side of the reel, falling over the edge of the flange extending upward on either side of the reel. Farrington stopped the mechanism and climbed up the side of the reel to stow the loose portion. Hopkins approached the reel from the other side to assist as Farrington finished and descended. Hopkins stooped over, either (depending on whose testimony is believed) to free the net from entanglement with a scallop ring near the base of the reel or to pick up something from the deck.

 
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