Family Members Who Lost Loved Ones in Duck Boat Crash Call for Halt in Tours
ATLANTA, GA- Wral.com writes that duck boats, which operate on water and on land, are a popular tourist attraction for thousands of people who travel to Chattanooga every year. Alex Moyer owns a fleet of the boats that are from World War II and have been converted for use as tourist's vessels.*
Moyer says that people are fascinated by the novel experience of driving a land/water vehicle into the water.
Last summer, one of these styles of tourist boats was involved in a tragic accident that killed 17 people in Missouri. A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of the victims stating that the company that operated the boats did not invest the necessary funds into making the boats safe for passengers. The boat’s captain was indicted on 17 counts for criminal negligence and misconduct because he brought the boat onto the water during a severe thunderstorm.
While the accident was shocking, there are many people who thought that the accident was highly predictable. They say that for decades there have been warnings about these vehicles and the risks they pose. People have been injured both on the land and in the water in accidents involving duck boats.
The warnings went unheeded, in part because the boats are under a mix of regulations that impact both vehicles on land and on the water. While the National Transportation Safety Board had tried to push the operators of duck boats to make safety improvements, the recommendations were optional, and the companies did not make the recommended changes.
The operators say that the boats do abide by the U.S. Coastguard standards. But some operators say that there are vessels that are not safe, but that not all duck boats are the same, and that some offer more safety features than others.
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