Offshore InjuryBlog

Tugboat Crashes into Luling Bridge on Mississippi River, Sinks Two Barges

A tugboat on the Mississippi River collided with the Luling Bridge in St. Charles Parish during the early hours of Sunday morning. The vessel was leading a train of grain barges when it crashed into the bridge, causing two of the barges to collide. So far, officials have said that the incident has not caused any injuries. 

About the Luling Bridge Tugboat Crash 

According to officials, the incident occurred at approximately 1:30 AM as the tugboat was pulling 29 other barges. The incident caused two of the barges to sink. As of 11:30 AM, authorities have the Mississippi River closed between mile markers 115 and 122. The Coast Guard has confirmed that 26 of the barges have been recovered, and one is still unaccounted for.  

The tugboat has been identified as the Cooperative Spirit, the same name as a tugboat involved with a fatal Bayou Sorrel collision on February 13. The accident killed three men after it caused their boat to sink into the Intercoastal Canal. Currently, officials have yet to confirm if this Cooperative Spirit is the same vessel that was involved with the deadly accident. 

Arnold & Itkin Is Representing Families of the Mississippi River Towboat Collision 

Arnold & Itkin is representing two of the families who lost their loved ones during last month’s collision on the Mississippi River. Just one week after the accident, the owners of the Cooperative Spirit, American River Transportation Co., filed a claim under the Limitation of Liability Act of 1851. This century-and-a-half-old law once protected the U.S. maritime industry. Now, it forces grieving families to consider legal action before they can finalize funeral arrangements for their loved ones.  

While it’s too early to confirm if the Cooperative Spirit involved with today’s accident is the same one that changed our client’s lives last month, we find the similarities disturbing. Vessel owners must ensure that their boats are being operated safely. 

Our team will continue to follow updates regarding the Luling Bridge tugboat crash. 

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