Dedication comes 33 years after ferry disaster

Special to the Herald-Guide

October 12, 2009 at 8:52 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

A monument to the 77 victims and 18 survivors of the worst ferry disaster in American history will be dedicated from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Oct. 17 at the East Bank Bridge Park.
The ceremony will be open to the public.

The granite and brick monument will mark the tragic events of Oct. 20, 1976. Early that morning, the George Prince ferry collided with the Norwegian tanker Frosta during its journey from Destrehan to Luling. The monument’s location is approximately three quarters of a mile upriver from the former Destrehan ferry landing.

“To those living in St. Charles Parish in the 70s, the George Prince Ferry disaster is truly one of those defining moments in history,” Parish President V.J. St. Pierre, Jr. said. “We all remember where we were when we learned about the accident, just like we remember the JFK assassination or the moon landing. It was a time for both banks of the river to come together to support one another and mourn the loss of so many.”

District IV Councilman Paul Hogan designed the monument, which is being constructed through donations from various companies and individuals. The monument will feature a granite slab engraved with the names of all 95 individuals aboard that day, along with plaques depicting a timeline of the tragic events.

A special committee made up of victim’s family members, concerned community members and elected officials led by District V Councilman Larry Cochran helped make the monument a reality through a series of meetings beginning in early 2009.

The monument will be the first to commemorate the George Prince Ferry disaster in St. Charles Parish. A second monument to the victims is located at the St. John the Baptist Parish courthouse in Edgard.

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