Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Remembering the Victims of the Ferry George Prince Disaster 10-20-76

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).

6 red beans:

Bob del Grosso said...

Having come close to drowning a couple of times myself, this sort of thing is not merely sad, it's terrifying.

Royd said...

Thank you Erica for honoring the victims on this mournful anniversary. I visited the memorial this afternoon & said a prayer.

On a positive note, many St. Charles Parish students now do extended reports on the Luling Ferry Disaster. What was once forgotten is now remembered, thanks to compassionate folks like yourself.

Make a Roux said...

Bob, thanks for your comment. I definitely cannot imagine the terror that everyone aboard faced on that horrible day.

Make a Roux said...

Thanks, Royd. Remembering the victims of this tragic accident is the least I can do.

It is good to know that people on both sides of the river are now keeping the memory of this incident alive.

sosaysmorvant said...

I had not heard of the tragedy until you mentioned it Roux. You have enlightened me of some history that should not be forgotten.

Make a Roux said...

Thanks, Kerry.
Since you're a young'un, I am not surprised that you hadn't heard of it. Do you know that it is still the worst ferry disaster in US history?

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