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Old 07-20-2018, 07:28 AM   #1
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A lake tragedy

Not good, what was the Captin thinking?

VIDEO WARNING: Viewer captures moments before Ride the Ducks boat sinks
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:47 AM   #2
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Without knowing the conditions at the time they drove into the water we can only guess. They may have been trapped by a sudden unpredicted squall.

However Ride the Ducks has a terrible safety record. Numerous fatalities on land and water. Based on an employment ad I saw some time back their captain / drivers have little to no experience when they are hired. Many of them are short summer tourist season employees, I can't imagine they get much training either.

I've witnessed them for many years in the Seattle area, land and water, making questionable decisions. Focused more on entertaining the guests than safely operating the boat / truck.

I won't go one of those death traps and I strongly recommend against visting family and friends riding the ducks.

Duck boats have a history of fatalities
After accidents in Seattle and elsewhere, duck boats lose some of their appeal
Ride the Ducks Cases
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ride_the_Ducks#Incidents
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Old 07-20-2018, 08:49 AM   #3
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Greetings,
Condolences to the victim's families. The "Captain" was NOT thinking! IF I ever find myself where sinking is a distinct outcome, I'd beach the vessel ANYWHERE or at least try to get into the shallowest water possible.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:38 AM   #4
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Greetings,
Condolences to the victim's families. The "Captain" was NOT thinking! IF I ever find myself where sinking is a distinct outcome, I'd beach the vessel ANYWHERE or at least try to get into the shallowest water possible.
I agree 100%. Beach the boat...that's what its design to do.
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Old 07-20-2018, 09:46 AM   #5
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Was strange seeing him plowing headfirst into the wind/waves. Armchair quarterbacking seems like drifting downwind until getting to safe place or the storm abating would be less likely for taking on green water.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:04 AM   #6
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The water was calm when they went in. The storm came on fast and there were storm warnings beforehand.

The storm had gusts in the 70's. So was like being out on the water during a hurricane.

Pattison said it appeared to be “a fast-moving storm” that hit an otherwise placid lake, saying that some of the company’s other boats had been in the water earlier in the day.

The storm rolled in suddenly while Rachel Zerby was camping along the lake near where the duck boat capsized, she told The Washington Post.

Even as investigators descended on the lake, questions immediately arose about why the boat was still out there amid what officials described as intense wind and thunderstorms. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area during the period the boat sank.

“The winds were behind what is called a ‘gust front,’ ” reported weather blogger meteorologist Mike Smith. “There were also intense winds with the heavy rain when it arrived which would have decreased visibility to very low values.” Gusts of up to 70 or 80 mph were reported around the time of the sinking, he wrote.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.4cdc511a1f9e
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:45 AM   #7
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I know hindsight is 20/20, but even the simplest cell phone shows storms like that, how far away they are and how fast they are moving. I would expect a commercial tour boat operator would be on top of the weather conditions, especially when a sever thunder storm warning had just been issued.
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Old 07-20-2018, 10:52 AM   #8
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Ride The Ducks "Captains" and the company don't seem to be on top of anything. They are dangerous as proven by the numerous fatalities on record.
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Old 07-20-2018, 11:46 AM   #9
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Greetings,
Condolences to the victim's families. The "Captain" was NOT thinking! IF I ever find myself where sinking is a distinct outcome, I'd beach the vessel ANYWHERE or at least try to get into the shallowest water possible.
I was faced with that same reality, about 21 years ago. Was with wife in our 32' twin powerboat in Exuma Sound, when a pop-up storm happened upon us. No cell, no radar, no NWS on the radio, no charting plotter, no adequate scuppers....

Our boat was quickly filling with green water over the windshield. That boat had maybe 3' of bow to waterline clearance at dock. That left 5' waves for the windshield. Barrier reef between us and shallow water. This was between Farmers Cay and Majors spot. In the wind, the portable GPS on the tower detached and came crashing down to the deck below. I knew the current situation was untenable, so I headed in, without benefit of paper charts or gps. I had charts, but couldn't deal with them in 60kt winds. With the 8' seas, it wasn't obvious where the break in the reef was, but headed in anyway. The wife put on her sneakers, for fear of having to walk in on the reef. Somehow, didn't hit coral, made it in, and anchored. My handheld Davis windmeter with the little float ball was pegged at 60 mph. That was when I noticed my knees shaking. That hadn't happened before or after....
I made the scuppers bigger.
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Old 07-20-2018, 04:12 PM   #10
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Does look like the boat did not had enough power to fight the wind. Those boats are not design for that kind of weather. Sorry for the loss.
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Old 07-20-2018, 06:17 PM   #11
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Does look like the boat did not had enough power to fight the wind. Those boats are not design for that kind of weather. Sorry for the loss.
They are designed for surf and combat conditions.... why not a few breakers on a lake?

See the Wikipedia notes in the Duck Boat thread......
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Old 07-21-2018, 05:59 AM   #12
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And new ones have to meet todays USCG standards or get an exemption and livd with the restrictions.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:00 AM   #13
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The operator displayed extreme negligence: the storm was tracked and alerts were posted for at least 6 hours before it hit. A serious crime has been committed in the name of profit and someone needs to visit prison for a few years.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:29 AM   #14
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The operator displayed extreme negligence: the storm was tracked and alerts were posted for at least 6 hours before it hit. A serious crime has been committed in the name of profit and someone needs to visit prison for a few years.
I've not read anything about 6 hours. The little I've seen has mentioned 6:32 when the NWS issued a warning. That coupled with the trips being 70 minutes may have left them out on the water. A little else I've seen has mentioned something about the two boats having been delayed at their launch 20 minutes before going out due to mechanical issues. One real question is how closely was the launch departure to the NWS alert? Because if they launched after the alert... well, that would be a problem.

That and take care with libelous accusations. Arm chair quarterbacking doesn't absolve you from being held culpable for libel. Nor does it help anyone to whip up hostility toward the operator when you possess hardly any facts. It's a tragedy, don't make it worse.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:23 AM   #15
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...ut-of-nowhere/

From the Washington Post
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:58 AM   #16
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I've not read anything about 6 hours. The little I've seen has mentioned 6:32 when the NWS issued a warning. That coupled with the trips being 70 minutes may have left them out on the water. A little else I've seen has mentioned something about the two boats having been delayed at their launch 20 minutes before going out due to mechanical issues. One real question is how closely was the launch departure to the NWS alert? Because if they launched after the alert... well, that would be a problem.

That and take care with libelous accusations. Arm chair quarterbacking doesn't absolve you from being held culpable for libel. Nor does it help anyone to whip up hostility toward the operator when you possess hardly any facts. It's a tragedy, don't make it worse.
It is a tragedy alright, an entirely avoidable one. If someone whose negligence killed 17 people wishes to sue me for exercising my 1st amendment rights they are welcome to do so.

BTW, there have also been longstanding concerns about how the canopies on these vehicles affect their seaworthiness in high wind conditions. There is also the matter of survivors reportedly saying that they were discouraged from donning life jackets as the storm was approaching.
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Old 07-21-2018, 11:01 AM   #17
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I've not read anything about 6 hours. The little I've seen has mentioned 6:32 when the NWS issued a warning. That coupled with the trips being 70 minutes may have left them out on the water.
You've missed the part about forecasts all afternoon regarding dangerous conditions and the Ducks knowing that as they chose to do the water portion of the trip first instead of the land portion hoping to beat the storm. Then the actual alert was about 30 minutes before the sinking. Also, that 70 minutes is the total trip time, water and land.

Clearly, they were aware of the severe thunderstorm watch and trying to salvage the trips, whether for financial purposes or to serve the customers or for whatever combination of reasons. Clearly now, in retrospect, that led to disaster. If you wait for the watch to turn into a warning, you've waited too long as that means the storm is imminent. The storms had been tracked more than 24 hours and had been accompanied by extreme winds on the entire path to Branson.

Nothing libelous about what is clearly an expression of an opinion by Woodland. Whether appropriate as expressed or not is another issue but neither libelous nor slander. In fact, it and your accusation of libel are fairly equal from a legal standpoint.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:46 PM   #18
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I've only read forecast warnings came later. I have not seen others with more dire predictions. Likewise I'm unfamiliar with the way they ran the tours. More facts will certainly help inform the situation.

I've made no accusations, don't infer or assume such. And if that wasn't clear, let me clarify. My point was a reminder that blanket statements like 'extreme negligence' border on libelous. It's easy to leap to outrage online. But doing so rarely helps a situation and often leads people into more trouble than necessary. The situation is bad enough on it's own. Let's hope investigations and facts shed light on the situation.
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:09 PM   #19
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I've only read forecast warnings came later. I have not seen others with more dire predictions. Likewise I'm unfamiliar with the way they ran the tours. More facts will certainly help inform the situation.
Follow the link on #17 or google and go to any of dozens of other sites reporting on the weather conditions that were involved. Read details from those involved as to the water first decision.

Incidentally that same band of storms then continued east. This was not a storm that should have been sneaking up on anyone.
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Old 07-21-2018, 02:25 PM   #20
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A couple of other articles from the Kansas City Star.

https://www.kansascity.com/news/stat...215235950.html

https://www.kansascity.com/news/stat...215222260.html

The first is a family that was supposed to be on the boat, but not room for them. The second describes the weather condition and timing of information.

The Ride the Ducks website bragged “All of our duck tours go rain or shine, just like real ducks.” Perhaps not a good slogan or mode of operating.
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