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Old 07-23-2018, 06:30 AM   #81
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My number one question is with floatation devices. When boarding the craft were the passengers informed as to floatation device locations? Secondly, as the water spilled inside the craft, did anyone yell out to "put-on your floatation device, now"?

There is always going to be unpredictability with the weather. It may have gotten worse in recent times with the dramatization and sensationalism in the media. Heard a weather reporter "cry wolf" lately?

The eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room who must not be mentioned is of course the underwriter. Lawyers will reduce settlements any way they can and ugly is the way it looks.

I intentionally left out the reference to gun deaths because so many gun deaths are suicides and I doubt this is a case of suicide by duck boat.
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Old 07-23-2018, 06:57 AM   #82
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The eight-hundred pound gorilla in the room who must not be mentioned is of course the underwriter. Lawyers will reduce settlements any way they can and ugly is the way it looks.
I'm sure the backs of the tickets and/or signs also were present, designed to limit the liability of the tour operator. In many cases, that becomes the real battle, whether those items are legally binding and whether they stay in place considering the events. It often becomes a battle over whether it was negligence or gross negligence in establishing the liability of the company and any amounts due for the deaths. The other factor that plays though is the total insurance the company has. It may well be they're only required to have $5 million in coverage. If so, we're not talking multi million dollar settlements, we're talking a maximum of $294,000 per person. I doubt seriously that there's any money to be gotten beyond the insurance amount as I doubt the operator has significant assets. Often we see small offers quickly and a long process to get the full amount. However, if the total available insurance is small, the initial offer may be all that is possible to receive.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:44 AM   #83
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Unpredictability in weather?

Sounds like it was right on.

One may not think forecasts are reliable, but a licensed captain should have more skills and experience than the CH 6 umbrella forecast.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:47 AM   #84
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Ripley's website claims they have 14 million visitors per year and are part of the Pattison Group, Canada's second largest private company, so their could be some deep pockets, here.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:56 AM   #85
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Ripley's website claims they have 14 million visitors per year and are part of the Pattison Group, Canada's second largest private company, so their could be some deep pockets, here.
Rest assured they have this entity in a separate corporation to protect any other entities they own.

My understanding is the duck company got new ownership about six months ago. Was this Ripley?
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:22 AM   #86
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Yes....Ripley is a very new owner
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:28 AM   #87
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Yes....Ripley is a very new owner
You can rest assured Ripley hasn't left themselves exposed.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:31 AM   #88
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yeah....you're probably right about that.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:34 AM   #89
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Unpredictability in weather?

Sounds like it was right on.

One may not think forecasts are reliable, but a licensed captain should have more skills and experience than the CH 6 umbrella forecast.
Many, many years ago an uncle who was a commercial fisherman in the Monterey, CA area told me that although it may look sunny and bright out right now remember that weather man is right enough of the time to always take heed. This served me well during my years of full time cruising. One would think that the "professional" captains and officials of the company would also take heed of the weather prediction which was issued hours before the incident.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:48 AM   #90
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One would think that the "professional" captains and officials of the company would also take heed of the weather prediction which was issued hours before the incident.
Understand too that this wasn't a forecast based on a possible system developing. It was based on the path of a storm which had already done significant damage west of there and was on a direct path for that area. This storm continued after the Branson area to hit areas east of there.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:31 AM   #91
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SSBOL has some good points. As a society, we do focus heavily on unusual accidents while other things kill on a routine basis without any outrage or concern to make changes toward prevention. Anyway, the story is very sad and hopefully some good will come from it.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:49 AM   #92
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Do inland waters have "small craft advisory" or "gale force warnings" ??
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:09 PM   #93
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Do inland waters have "small craft advisory" or "gale force warnings" ??
Typically, a "special marine warning": ie:

000
WHUS51 KBUF 170434
SMWBUF
LOZ045-064-065-SLZ022-170530-
/O.NEW.KBUF.MA.W.0031.180717T0434Z-180717T0530Z/

BULLETIN - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
Special Marine Warning
National Weather Service Buffalo NY
1234 AM EDT TUE JUL 17 2018

The National Weather Service in Buffalo has issued a

* Special Marine Warning for...
Lake Ontario from Sandy Creek to Cape Vincent...
The Saint Lawrence River from Cape Vincent to Clayton...

* Until 130 AM EDT.

* At 1231 AM EDT, several strong thunderstorms were located 14 nm
southwest of Tibbets Point, or 28 nm northwest of Mexico Bay,
moving northeast at 45 knots.

HAZARD...Wind gusts 34 knots or greater.

SOURCE...Radar.

IMPACT...Small craft could be damaged in briefly higher winds and
suddenly higher waves.

* Locations impacted include...
Tibbets Point, Clayton, St. Lawrence River, Wellesley Island,
Alexandria Bay, Chaumont Bay, Pillar Point and Black River Bay.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:34 PM   #94
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Thank you.....I have only heard that there was a severe thunder storm warning...I don't know if anything like that was issued in Branson. That is very detailed with location of the storm, direction and speed...much more specific.
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:55 PM   #95
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Yes, this area serves the population with "an abundance" of warnings.
I'm reduced to a guess, but, I would say I am under an average of 50 warning days per year, when I add up high wind, wintry mix, areal flood, coastal flood, and snowfall alerts from the NWS. Funny thing is; this area is far less susceptible to violent weather than my other residences.
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Old 07-23-2018, 01:43 PM   #96
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I just watched an interview with a woman who's husband called from the boat to tell her to take care of the kids because he knew he wasn't going to make it...so heart wrenching.

If they had that kind of awareness on the boat they should have dropped the back stairs and started abandoning ship. The reduced weight would have helped and more people could have gotten off safely if they started before it went under.
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:05 PM   #97
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Right, Don a PFD and prepare to abandon ship!. Surely a chaotic, stressful, and difficult situation, but this is the prime duty of the captain. It will be interesting and educational to get all of the details.

This sad and sobering tragedy has made me think a lot about what I would do in a similar situation. One important thing will be to have everyone wearing their PFDs and be clear of confined spaces.
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:05 PM   #98
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I just watched an interview with a woman who's husband called from the boat to tell her to take care of the kids because he knew he wasn't going to make it...so heart wrenching.

If they had that kind of awareness on the boat they should have dropped the back stairs and started abandoning ship. The reduced weight would have helped and more people could have gotten off safely if they started before it went under.
The one who I've seen most interviewed is the one who lost 9 members of her family, only her and her nephew made it. She stated that she survived but she wasn't sure if that was good or bad. I felt her pain as she talked.

Now, there are tragedies everywhere each day and this one isn't worse than many of the others, it's just as boaters, this one merits discussion here and we all know how avoidable it was. One of those statements I've heard repeated often here is not to be stuck to a schedule, primarily because weather may dictate you staying put, as it should have dictated in this situation.

I wonder and hope we ultimately hear at what point those aboard realized how much trouble they were in and if any tried to do anything. You would think one or more would have tried to get themselves and others off the boat. I also wonder of those who did drown, how many of them couldn't swim. I think as well of the horror experienced by those who witnessed it from a distance. I know for me, seeing it happen and being unable to help would have been extremely traumatic.
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:42 PM   #99
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Think too, of the likely reluctance to abandon ship without ordered to do so. Even the "non-boater" savvy riders know there must be some sort of propeller back there; it was rough and windy, they did still have way on, and then they would have to assume, they know more than the captain about such things.
Its quite a leap for most folks.

ps: imagine you had 20 guests on your boat, and while shooting Bakers Haulover, THEY decide not to go offshore. They start bailing out, one by one...
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Old 07-23-2018, 02:54 PM   #100
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A lake tragedy

Makes me realize I need to have PFDs more easily accessible when lots of people aboard. I rarely have people aboard other than family so dont really think about it normally, but my PFDs are all under the settee benches and could be hard to dig out in an emergency. When going offshore I always have our two inflatable PFDs hanging near the PH door so I can grab it if going on deck for whatever reason.

Were the fatalities trapped inside the enclosure and not able to escape? Or were some not able to swim?
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