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Old 07-20-2018, 07:24 AM   #1
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Duck Boats

When you take an unstable vessel onto the water in a gale and passengers are not required to wear PFDs is it any surprise that disasters happen?
Duck boats were a simple/cheap solution to a war time need. They were unstable then and are still unstable. They did their job. Time to retire them to the museum.
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Old 07-20-2018, 07:45 AM   #2
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Or just dont take them out in those conditions.

They take passengers for rides in WWI aircraft......
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:01 AM   #3
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If the occasional air passenger takes that risk -- up to them as individuals.

Like bungy jumping!

How many passengers on the duck boat thought for one minute that they were at risk.
And, no PFDs!!!
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:06 AM   #4
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What commercial vessel have you been on where you were wearing one?

Then again, PFDs should have been broken out when the skipper knew things were going south....however, based on the mindless plunging ahead, it appears thinking had stopped.

Though I dont know what other options there were.....
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:07 AM   #5
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Awful. There was a really big paddle wheeler type boat nearby to hide behind in the videos...
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:22 AM   #6
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These "boats" may be mill pond safe but not fit for flowing rivers or any wave conditions.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:30 AM   #7
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...however, based on the mindless plunging ahead, it appears thinking had stopped...
I wasn't there, but looking at the video I thought maybe the captain was trying to keep the bow pointed into the weather. Maybe that's all he/she could do.

I have no clue how fast it came up, or if there was any prior warning about how bad it might get. Without additional information, I am not going to assume anything.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:48 AM   #8
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These "boats" may be mill pond safe but not fit for flowing rivers or any wave conditions.
And how do you know that?
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:06 AM   #9
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I wasn't there, but looking at the video I thought maybe the captain was trying to keep the bow pointed into the weather. Maybe that's all he/she could do.

I have no clue how fast it came up, or if there was any prior warning about how bad it might get. Without additional information, I am not going to assume anything.
How about quoting the following sentence I posted that you left off......


"Though I dont know what other options there were....."


I too dont like to assume things in accident... but in my experience, continuing an operation that is going down hill fast..... isnt usually the best solution for operators who know bad things happen and have plans B though D or beyond.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:09 AM   #10
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And how do you know that?
Designed for amphibious landings, and some were used by the USCG for beach launches invilving rescues..... hard to say what the real limitations are....

Here is what Wikipedia thinks.....

"The DUKW was designed by Rod Stephens, Jr. of*Sparkman & Stephens, Inc. yacht designers,*Dennis Puleston, a British deep-water sailor resident in the U.S., and Frank W. Speir, a*Reserve Officers' Training Corps*Lieutenant from the*Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[5]*Developed by the*National Defense Research Committee*and the*Office of Scientific Research and Development*to solve the problem of resupply to units which had just performed an amphibious landing, it was initially rejected by the armed services. When a*United States Coast Guard*patrol craft ran aground on a sand bar near*Provincetown, Massachusetts, an experimental DUKW happened to be in the area for a demonstration. Winds up to 60 knots (110*km/h), rain, and heavy surf prevented conventional craft from rescuing the seven stranded Coast Guardsmen, but the DUKW had no trouble,[6]*and military opposition to the DUKW melted. The DUKW later proved its seaworthiness by crossing the*English Channel."
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:02 PM   #11
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Well, it would be interesting to know to what extent the original design has been changed to numerous seated civilians. Unable to find details of original design but my guess would be no marines were seated going ashore and the CoG of the vessel was probably quite a bit lower. As for stability today, just look at the shape - high out of the water with basically a flat bottom and wheels for a keel!!!
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:12 PM   #12
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Cant go by looks of a vessel, its all about weights and where...

My guess is that vehicles designed for combat loading situations couldnt be too picky about stability....but without numbers of todays boats, guessing their stability is just a guess.

They managed the conditions pretty well till the one looked like it was pretty full of water.....but yes...I am just guessing.

The one riding higher did turn somewhat beam to the seas and survived.

Flat bottoms arent inheritantly unstable....wheels, axles and gear down low may be raising or lowering the CG..... I have no idea......
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Old 07-20-2018, 12:21 PM   #13
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About 20 years ago a Baltimore Inner Harbor pontoon boat water taxi flipped during a thunderstorm. No one banned pontoon boats but they did change their procedures.
Lack of anticipation of what could go wrong.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:25 PM   #14
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Certainly a tragic event and one that we can always look back on and say it "could have, should have been avoided." I don't think any of us know enough of the specifics to say how if should have. The thing is, there wasn't likely just one mistake, but multiple ones that compounded themselves. Should they avoid going out anytime there's a severe thunderstorm warning? Well, there are now ball parks and stadiums that will delay in those circumstances because of fan exposure to lightning. I don't know what size crew aboard, but one of my first questions would be had they been through training and practice in quickly deploying life jackets and abandoning ship and I doubt they had. Or at what point of weather conditions do you require them to be worn.

I think inherently we know two things. First, tour boats on Table Rock Lake shouldn't sink. If they do, they're out in conditions they shouldn't be and/or they didn't have a plan to bail out and get to shore or shallow water quickly. Second, in warm weather on Table Rock Lake, no one should drown or die otherwise as a result of a sinking of a boat. Hopefully steps will be taken to keep either of those events from happening again.

I've seen tour boats on other lakes and in coastal areas that worried me. Lack of staffing to handle emergencies. Weak captains. I've known some captains of such boats I wouldn't hire as a captain of a 40' trawler, much less put hundreds of lives each day in their hands, but it doesn't pay what experienced captains would require.

People who get on tour boats, and I've done it, get on with a lot of naivety, never thinking of the risks. We don't think of where the life jackets are and how we'd get one if needed. Now when taking a ride on Table Rock Lake or elsewhere, we'll be more aware, but for how long. Will the steps be taken to make us safer? Are tour boats elsewhere just thinking "sure glad it didn't happen here" or are they addressing "how to keep it from happening here."

I came up with a land comparison of risk. There is risk to any vehicle on the road and any bus. However, time and again we find groups that have chartered based strictly on price and gotten the worst buses and often drivers who shouldn't have been on the road. They never thought of the risk, but we all became more aware after the accident.

We've become aware of amusement ride risks with certain operators only after the fact.

I have no idea the regulations on the duck boats, on the boats themselves or the training of captains and crews. However, the typical battle is "if you make me do that it will put me out of business". Perhaps it needs to be "if we don't make you do that, lives may be lost." Could regulations have prevented this? Yes, if they had included not going out with severe thunderstorm warnings and training and staffing to prevent a situation like this from becoming fatal. Might they be "too expensive" for the operators to continue? I don't know, but if operators can't operate safely then they shouldn't be operating.

Thing is that we as consumers don't know and often don't think. I know had I been vacationing there, I could have seen myself taking a duck boat ride before, but now definitely would never do so. The conditions seen are not some rogue wave or condition as that's a part of the country with those conditions periodically as Lake of the Ozarks encounters. The point is that this wasn't some horrible bad luck, this was a failure to take the steps to protect. Although this wasn't foreseen, it was a foreseeable event and no steps taken to prevent it.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:31 PM   #15
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The ducks had their side curtains down and fastened. No easy way to escape with a pfd on.
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Old 07-20-2018, 01:50 PM   #16
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The ducks had their side curtains down and fastened. No easy way to escape with a pfd on.
Well, that's something proper training and a practiced drill would address, quick removal of them.
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Old 07-20-2018, 03:17 PM   #17
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Well, that's something proper training and a practiced drill would address, quick removal of them.
Agree. But those drivers had their hands full steering for their lives so it would have to be the passengers popping the curtains or some sort of quick release at the helm. Sad sad story.


As I recall, the pontoon boat also had full curtains, trapping passengers.
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:32 PM   #18
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Such a terrible tragedy.
I am one of those persons that actually pay attention to the stewards on planes and note the exits in movie theaters. I was on a tour boat (The Summer Wind) on Lake Chautauqua in 2005 for a fall foliage cruise. I was really surprised that the Captain spoke of everything except any emergency procedures or where the life jackets were. But just a little look around and I found them. I told DH ďwhatís with no safety procedureĒ? I didnít think anything of it until two days later when this happened on a similar lake https://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/03/n...irondacks.html
Itís one of my many quirks to check exits and safety gear, procedures. Itís easy to do and I donít dwell on it, but the seconds it saves if you need the info can mean a lot.
On a lighter note, when we left the movie the Titanic, first thing I said is ďwhy didnít anybody grease up and lash the deck chairs together!Ē
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Old 07-20-2018, 05:37 PM   #19
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There were two crew on board....a captain and a driver.

I thought it was a coast guard regulation that you had to tive a little speach before you go out...."life jackets are there.....the head is there.....no smoking, littering or jumping off the boat, etc..." I used to work on snorkel and dive boats and we gave that lecture...no one ever listened...but we gave it every time.

I would guess it would be a slow sinking...the bow goes down and just doesn't come up...I am really surprised that half the people died. The side curtains were definitely a problem. ( one of the reasons I always carry a knife !! ). I wonder if they have VHF's and if a mayday call was made ?

Its interesting that one boat made it and one didn't. Pure speculation here....but in the video it looks like the bow is higher at the beginning than the later on....my guess is that scuppers were blocked or pumps weren't operational and it was taking on water for a while. If I was ankle deep in water I think I'd have found a life jacket and started cutting the curtains open.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:19 PM   #20
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I always check where the emergency equipment is located when on a boat whether it is a commercial boat or a private boat. When we take anybody out on our boat we give a briefing on the boat. I would never go on a duck boat. If I remember correctly this isnít the first time there has been a incident like this.
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