Cory Michael, tugboat captain, killed by crane when tugboat hits Florida Avenue Bridge on August 13.

Modified Date: 
Thu, 08/14/2014 - 5:54am
Accident Date: 
Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Tugboat captain killed in accident on Industrial Canal

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.

Tugboat Captain killed after crane strikes bridge on Industrial Canal

The bridge was raised above the height requested but the crane arm struck the bridge structure and reportedly fell back, striking the wheelhouse, or pilot house of the tug boat.
A tugboat captain was killed in an accident around midnight Wednesday on the Industrial Canal, according to the Port of New Orleans. Port spokesman Matt Gresham said the captain, whose name has not been released, 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. "Other tow vessels were able to assist (the tugboat) and get it to the Port of New Orleans pier," Lally said. When the boat got to the pier, the New Orleans Fire Department extricated the captain from the wheelhouse, Lally said. EMS pronounced him dead at the scene. At 1:25 a.m., responders began removing the crane from the bridge. The bridge was inspected and reopened to vehicle traffic at 4:30 a.m. Thursday, Gresham said. "The US Coast Guard offers its condolences to the friends and family of this captain," Lally said. "When tragedy strikes, it affects a lot of people." The Coast Guard will be conducting an investigation into the fatality, he said.
People Involved: 
Cory Michael

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