Ferry disaster memorial should be in Destrehan

It was a tragic morning in St. Charles Parish October 20, 1976 when the Luling-Destrehan ferry was struck by the 750-foot tanker Frosta and sunk. Of the 94 aboard, 78 died. When the news came through that fateful morning about the tragic accident, it was hard to accept by everyone in St. Charles. Family members, friends and those who worked with the victims wept openly for many days, almost not believing that it could have happened.

A monument was built in memory of those victims but, strangely, it was placed on the west bank of the river in St. John Parish. The ferry was the boat that daily carried passengers from Destrehan to Luling in St. Charles Parish. And most of the victims were residents of the east bank of St. Charles, many going to their jobs at the plants.

Some say it was placed in St. John Parish because it would be a sad reminder of what happened to family and friends here. Now, after 30 years, that memory should not be so shattering that the monument cannot be placed in its proper place.

A movement is underway to have it moved to the east bank bridge park in Destrehan. That is a good idea. It would certainly be more appropriate there and, we’re sure, would be appreciated at this time by those closest to the victims.

This is the 30th anniversary of that sad happening and it is a good time to start planning that relocation to a public place near where visitors can see the location where that tragedy actually occured.


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