34 years ago on October 20, 1976, the Ferry George Prince collided with the Norwegian ship SS Frosta on the Mississippi River near Destrehan, LA.
The ferry collided with the Frosta on the cool, clear morning of October 20th, as it was carrying many people to their jobs along the river at chemical plants, grain elevators, and the like.
There were 96 people on board and 78 of them perished as the Frosta bore down on the ferry. In the end, it was determined that the ferry's pilot had consumed alcohol and had a blood alcohol percentage of 0.09%, which was just slightly under the (then) legal limit for intoxication.
I was five years old when the accident happened. Most of the victims were men who, not unlike my own father, worked at the chemical plants along the Mississippi's corridor. I count myself lucky that my father had only to carpool to work.
Please take a moment on this day to remember those working men - brothers, fathers, husbands - who lost their lives in this tragic accident.
You can view a memorial to the victims in Destrehan, LA at the foot of the Destrehan-Luling Bridge (Hale-Boggs Memorial Bridge).