Duck Boat
Charlie Riedel / Associated Press

The National Transportation Safety Board and Coast Guard are investigating the duck boat tragedy that claimed seventeen liveson Table Rock Lake in Missouri. The Ride the Ducks craft capsized and sank in a storm on July 19, 2018. Investigators are looking into what caused the accident, including the weather, life jackets, as well as the mechanics of the boat and the crew’s actions. One of the factors being investigated is whether the crew paid attention to severe thunderstorm warnings. One of the survivors said the captain told passengers there was a storm coming but they did not need to put on life jackets. While the president of the company that owns the duck boat tours said the storm was unexpected and “came out of nowhere,” the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm that morning and projected it would last until 9 p.m. describes duck boats:

Though the exact vehicles may vary from city to city, duck boats are often refurbished DUKW vehicles used by the United States military and its allies throughout the mid-20th century. Built by General Motors, the DUKW vehicles were first deployed during World War II to transport military supplies from ships to the coast without requiring the ships to dock…

Some safety advocates have called the boats unsafe after several high-profile fatal accidents involving the vehicles over the course of the last two decades. In two accidents on the water, the boats either sank or capsized, killing more than a dozen passengers in each incident. The vehicles have also been involved in multiple fatal accidents on roadways.

The April 2, 2002, NTSB Executive Summary Sinking of the U.S. Small Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic in Lake Hamilton, Hot Springs, Arkansas, on May 1, 1999 states: “On May 1, 1999, the amphibious passenger vehicle Miss Majestic, with an operator and 20 passengers on board, entered Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas, on a regular excursion tour. About 7 minutes after entering the water, the vehicle listed to port and rapidly sank by the stern in 60 feet of water. One passenger escaped before the vehicle submerged but the remaining passengers and the operator were trapped by the vehicle’s canopy roof and drawn under water.

When litigation follows a tragic accident, accident investigation experts gather facts and interview those involved in the incident. They analyze physical evidence from the scene and review the facts of the case to determine if there is a pattern of similar accidents. These trained experts are skilled in taking the complex dynamics of an accident and presenting them an understandable manner to the court. Select a knowledgeable and credentialed accident investigation expert witness for your case with the help of ForensisGroup.