Tugboat Captain Michael Collins was killed early Thursday morning following an accident on the Industrial Canal.
According to a report from Nola.com, a crane fell on the tugboat that Collins was steering while it was passing under the Florida Avenue Bridge.
Port spokesman Matt Gresham said Collins was pronounced dead at 12:50 a.m. Thursday.
According to Gresham, the tugboat Cory Michael was pushing a barge with a crane on it southbound on the Industrial Canal. The captain requested that the Florida Avenue Bridge be raised so he could pass. Gresham said the bridge was raised above the height requested.
Coast Guard spokesman Jonathan Lally said when the tugboat and the barge were passing under the open Florida Avenue Bridge, the crane hit the bridge. The crane, he said, then fell on the tugboat’s wheelhouse, trapping and injuring the captain.
Nearby vessels assisted getting the tugboat to the pier, after which the New Orleans Fire Department freed Collins from the wheelhouse. Unfortunately, the tugboat captain was pronounced dead at the scene. Responders then began removing the crane from the bridge.
The bridge was inspected and reopened to vehicle traffic early Thursday morning, around 4:30 a.m. The Coast Guard is investigating the fatality.
Lambert Zainey has been handling maritime accidents in Louisiana for more than 35 years. Contact us today for a free consultation.