Here is an investigation report covering an accident where a fisherman alone on his fishing vessel managed to get caught in his fishing gear and it took a navy boarding team to set him free.
It is funny because the guy lived to tell about it. (He was seriously injured which is not funny.) That said, there are important safety lessons to be learned here and thankfully the entire report is only one page as copied below. So it is a simple matter of just taking five minutes to read it.
Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents - Denmark
Occupational accident - MARIE - 9.12.2009
The accident occurred on 9 December 2009 at approx. 1230. The fishing skipper, who was alone on board, was about to heave the trawl after the first haul when he was caught by a bridle and pulled up onto the net roller. The fishing skipper was caught on the net roller in approx. 6 hours before he was relieved by the Navy and a rescue helicopter. The fishing skipper was seriously injured in the accident.
Analysis and conclusion
Immediate causes (6.1)
Unsafe actsThe fishing skipper was alone on board and was caught by a bridle and was trapped because he worked right at the net roller, while it was turning.
Unsafe surroundingsIt is the assessment of The Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents that control levers which are hindered in or do not automatically return to neutral position pose a significant safety risk when using net roller equipment.
Contributing causes (6.2)
Persons involvedThe fishing skipper was aware that it was unsafe to stay in close vicinity of the net roller during operation.
Safety SystemIt is the assessment of The Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents that it is totally irresponsible to operate the net roller, and then work with the lines, when you are alone on board. It is the assessment of The Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents that the task by the net roller was conducted without any sort of safety precaution and that the risk was unacceptably high.
Safety Culture (6.3)It is the assessment of The Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents that the circumstances of the accident and the poor state of maintenance on board demonstrated that there has been insufficient attention to safety on board.
RecommendationsThe Division for Investigation of Maritime Accidents recommend all owners of fishing vessels and fishing skippers, to pay special attention to proper maintenance of control handles, which must go to stop when released, so they will not pose a safety risk. - Danish Maritime Authority
There is no word on whether he had a knife with him nor if having one might have permitted him a way of escaping.