George Prince Ferry Memorial

George Prince Ferry Memorial (HM22JH)

Location: Destrehan, LA 70047 St. Charles Parish
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Country: United States of America
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N 29° 56.856', W 90° 22.232'

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October 20, 1976

Marker 1On October 20, 1976, the worst ferry disaster in the history of the United States occurred on the Mississippi River in St. Charles Parish. Seventy-seven lives were lost. The people of Louisiana will never forget you.Marker 2"When you pass through the water I will be with you; In the rivers you shall not drown, for I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior."Isaiah 43:2-3Marker 3It was 40 degrees fahrenheit and dark at dawn, without fog, as the fifty year old George Prince Ferry was making its passage way across the Mississippi River from Destrehan to Luling. The skipper was Captain Gene Auletta. Ninety-five people were aboard that morning, most of them young men who worked at the plants on the Riverbank.Marker 4As the George Prince traveled close to a mile from the east bank to the west bank, a 22,000 ton Norwegian tanker, the Frosta, sighted the ferry dangerously close to the front of the ship's bow. Pilot Nicholas Colombo signaled the George Prince several times, but it was too late. A massive collision ensued.Marker 5Relatives and friends of those aboard the George Prince anxiously stood vigil on the Mississippi River levee for days, watching the rescue efforts
and waiting for news of their loved ones. Hard hats and lunch pails washed ashore on the riverbank. Governor Edwin Edwards walked through those assembled there, attempting to console the families. President Gerald Ford's personal emissary, Ed Foreman, was also at the disaster site.Marker 6 The tragedy spurred changes in Maritime Law. Ships in the river now legally have the right of way over smaller vessels. The Coast Guard now subjects pilots and all other employees on vessels to random drug and alcohol testing.The Hale Boggs Memorial Bridge was under construction at the time of the accident. It was opened in 1983, thus ending the Destrehan-Luling ferry run.
HM NumberHM22JH
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, November 4th, 2017 at 4:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 753784 N 3315887
Decimal Degrees29.94760000, -90.37053333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 29° 56.856', W 90° 22.232'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds29° 56' 51.36" N, 90° 22' 13.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)985, 225
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 13244 River Rd, Destrehan LA 70047, US
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