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After fatal accident, families of 3 tugboat crew members search for answers

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2016 | Wrongful Death

With so many unknown and constantly changing variables, on a daily basis; the men and women who work aboard boats and sea vessels of all sizes put their health, safety and very lives at risk. Residents in the New York City area were recently reminded of just how dangerous this line of work can be after an accident on the Hudson River claimed the lives of three tugboat crew members.

According to The New York Times, the tragic tugboat accident occurred just after 5 a.m. on Saturday March 12, about 20 miles north of the Bronx at the Tappan Zee Bridge. Officials report that the tugboat was “escorting a barge carrying a tower crane down the Hudson River” when the boat struck a stationary construction barge near the bridge.

After the collision, workers who were aboard other boats in the area attempted to reach and save the three crew members, but were unfortunately unable to do so in time. All three of the men, including the boat’s 62-year-old captain and two 29 and 56-year-old crew members, were killed in the accident.

An investigation into what factors may have contributed to the fatal accident is currently underway. Prior to the crash, radio dispatchers had apparently been in contact with the tugboat’s crew who were described as being “aware their vessel was too close to the barge.” All three of the deceased crew members were described as being “experienced mariners and loyal employees.”

In the wake of these types of tragic maritime accidents, family members often struggle to not only come to grips with the loss of their loved ones, but also with the financial burdens that result from their untimely deaths. In many cases, family members can recover compensation under the Jones Act and an attorney who handles wrongful death maritime and admiralty cases can provide advice and assistance.

Source: The New York Times, “One Dead and Two Missing After Tugboat Hits Barge Near Tappan Zee Bridge,” Ashley Southall, March 12, 2016

The New York Times, “Body of Second Crew Member Is Recovered From Tugboat Crash Near Tappan Zee Bridge,” Sarah Maslin Nir and Annie Correal, March 13, 2016