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Tragic tugboat and construction barge crash in Hudson River

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Boat accidents can happen on any body of water during any season. One happened just recently, when a tugboat collided with a construction barge. The tugboat had been traveling to Jersey City, New Jersey. It had started out in Albany, and was pulling a crane.

The collision happened in the darkness of an early Saturday morning, at approximately 5:15 a.m. The construction barge was under the Tappan Zee bridge when the tugboat collided with it.

At least one person was killed. Two others, both crew members, are missing and presumed dead.

The seriousness of the accident prompted Gov. Andrew Cuomo to visit the scene. He took of boat tour of the spot where it happened and pronounced it a tragic accident. He noted that three people who just went to their jobs that morning will never go back home again.

The accident is the second one that involves a barge connected to the construction of the Tappan Zee Bridge. An investigation has been launched by the U.S. Coast Guard, the state police and other agencies. They are trying to determine the cause of the recent crash in order to keep another one from happening.

In the previous accident, there had been a question about the lighting on construction barges. In that one, a bride-to-be and the best man of her fiance were killed. In the recent accident, however, the construction barge was well-lit.

Divers were not able to search underwater due to dangerous tides in the Hudson River, but helicopters and police boats mounted the best search that they could. The seriousness of the accident has prompted many boaters in the area to redouble their efforts to make sure they are safe when on the water.

Source: The Journal News, “Cuomo: Tugboat crash at TZB ‘tragic accident’,” Jane Lerner, March 13, 2016

Jason Fuiman

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Co-Managing Partner and Chair of O'Dwyer & Bernstien's Labor & Employee Benefits practice, Jason has over twenty years of experience in the New York legal industry.