The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff who represents decedent, Harry Hernandez and his surviving family, in the case of the collision and sinking of the tugboat “Specialist”, closely monitored the raising of the ship and the recovery of Mr. Hernandez’s body. The wreckage of the tugboat, which sank after a collision with a construction barge on March 12, 2016 at the new Tappan Zee Bridge north of New York City, was raised from the Hudson River on Thursday, March 24, 2016. The body of Mr. Hernandez, the last remaining victim of the boat accident, was recovered from the wreck. The bodies of 62-year-old crew member Paul Amon and 29-year-old Timothy Conklin were pulled from the water that on March 12 when the tugboat accident occurred. Amon’s body was found shortly after the accident in the early morning. Using sonar equipment, state police divers returned to the scene later after the choppy winter waters calmed and found the body of Conklin, of Westbury, inside the tugboat. The search of the third victim of the tragic Hudson River tugboat accident, 56-year-old Harry Hernandez, had to be delayed due to rough waters and lack of visibility. Authorities reported that the body of Mr. Hernandez, was in the heavily entangled area in the front of the sunken tugboat and was not able to be removed despite the efforts of recovery crews. In the aftermath of the Hudson River tugboat accident, Mr. Lamonsoff was widely quoted by the media. He aggressively denounced the insurance company of the tugboat Trevor which was part of the flotilla of tugboats which included the doomed Specialist for motioning the Court for a limitation of liability three days after the boating accident. Their motion was filed despite evidence to the contrary, that the Trevor may have shared in the responsibility for the boating collision and prior to any official investigation. Most disturbing to Mr. Lamonsoff, was that the insurance company made the motion before the Specialist was raised and Mr Hernandez’ body was recovered. Outraged at their behavior, Mr. Lamonsoff condemned the insurance company’s sensibilities and lack of respect for the families of the deceased by making this motion stating “It’s repulsive and insensitive,” said Mr. Lamonsoff. “Before the body was recovered and the investigation even began they’re already running to court, which is disrespectful to this man.” He went on to state that “The Hernandez family has suffered a tremendous loss. It is my job to help the family find some sort of peace and justice in this tragedy.” The Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC was present and closely followed the efforts of state police recovery teams and the salvage operation. In the aftermath of the boat accident, divers from the state police and NYPD reported that they had only been able to go down to the sunken tugboat during slack tides. The Coast Guard said visibility was low with strong, dangerous currents that prevented them from conducting an exhaustive search of the wreck. Divers resigned themselves to waiting until the next slack tide, and a slow ineffective search, until information was released that the owner of the tugboat had contracted a private salvage company with a special crane capable of raising the tugboat wreck. The salvage operation recovered Hernandez’s remains on March 24, 2016, after the boat was lifted out of the turbulent 46-foot-deep water of the Hudson, said authorities. Newsday reported that the salvage operation began about 7 a.m. and by 9 a.m., the tugboat was raised. Thereafter, the Westchester County Police Marine Unit and Emergency Services Unit boarded the wreck of the Specialist and removed Hernandez’s body. “[Mr. Hernandez] was in a bunk room, near the front of the vessel on the starboard side,” a representative said. “There was a lot of damage. There was a lot of steel in the area. We had to cut our way in there.” In a show of sensitivity to the grieving family, the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff closely followed all reports of the Coast Guard, salvage crews, videos, and pictures concerning the recovery of Mr. Hernandez’ body to provide some closure to their concerns of his last moments and the treatment of his remains. Mr. Lamonsoff, who is a mariner, noted that Amon and the doomed crew may have believed they could have prevented the boat crash had the tugboat Trevor responded to alleged calls to change its navigation. If you or someone you know was injured or killed as a result of a boating, ferry, or water taxi accident, please contact one of our experienced New York Boating attorneys immediately at 212-9522-1020 or Toll Free at 877-675-4529. We will provide you with an immediate and free consultation. Remember, the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC is available for legal consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
On March 12th a 90-foot tugboat named the “Specialist” was support in steering a barge south along the Hudson, about 25 miles north of NYC, when it collided with a construction barge at 5:15 a.m. near the site where the new Tappan Zee Bridge is being built. Authorities report that 3 tugboats were transporting a barge from Albany, New York to Jersey City, New Jersey, when one of the three – positioned on the right side as it headed south – crashed into a stationary barge that was part of the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction site. Apparently, the tugboat had strayed too far from the middle of the channel and was unable to correct its course in time to avoid the construction barge. A tugboat on the left side of the barge, in addition to one that was pushing the barge crane from the stern, were not involved in the accident. The bodies of Timothy Conklin, of Westbury, New Jersey; and Paul Amon, of Bayville, New Jersey, have already recovered. The body of Harry Hernandez, of Staten Island, (who is now being represented by the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff) was in the heavily entangled area in the front of the recessed tugboat and was not able to be removed until a special crane brought up from Virginia was available to raise the 90-foot vessel. Coast Guard officer Sabrina Laberdesque said in local reports that the search area was “heavily saturated” by multiple agencies trying to figure out exactly what went wrong and caused the tragic tugboat accident. The tugboat also oozed at least 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel, creating an oil slick about 100 yards wide and 5 miles long, according to reports. Governor Andrew Cuomo called the crash a “tragic accident.” “We offer our thoughts and prayers to loved ones of the crew members aboard the tugboat,” he said in a statement to the press. “The state is actively working with our partners in law enforcement in locating the missing crew members and minimizing environmental damage along the Hudson River.” Earlier in March, the Coast Guard delivered a warning for mariners in the area of the new Tappan Zee Bridge construction site, saying that “over a hundred fragments of floating equipment and support vessels” will contribute in the project. The massive project also involved more than 30 equipment moorings. Sailors were advised to use the main channel, decrease wake and use extreme caution while traversing the area in the neighborhood of the new Tappan Zee Bridge, particularly during inclement weather and darkness, and pay specific attention to vessel movements, said the safety notice issued by the Coast Guard dated March 3. Governor Cuomo said in an interview that the tugboat “did not come down the middle of a 600-foot-wide U.S. Coast Guard-designated channel” and got too close to the construction barge. Local representatives said investigators are still conducting interviews and trying to figure out exactly what happened. A rep for the company that owns the tugboat did not instantly return a request for comment. This is not the first time a boat has hit a construction barge near the Tappan Zee Bridge with deadly results. In 2013, a boater was charged with vehicular manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide after he drove a 19-foot Stingray powerboat into one of three construction barges that was strapped together near the bridge, tossing a bride-to-be and her fiancé’s best man into the river, according to the summons. Two individuals were killed in the accident. The family of Harry Hernandez of Staten Island, one of three men who perished in this recent tragic tugboat accident, is seeking to file a lawsuit. Michael S. Lamonsoff, the New York personal injury power attorney, is representing the family and was quoted as saying, “the Hernandez family has suffered a tremendous loss. It is my job to help the family find some sort of peace and justice in this tragedy.” If you or someone you know was injured or killed as a result of a boating accident, please contact one of our experienced New York accident attorneys immediately at 212-962-1020 or Toll Free at 877-675-4529. We will provide you with an immediate and free consultation. Remember, the Law Offices of Michael S. Lamonsoff, PLLC is available for legal consultation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.