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Old 07-23-2018, 03:11 PM   #101
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It is not a long hard task to enforce existing rules and regulations, it merely takes the will to do so. If anger and outrage is what it takes to shine a light on egregious violations then so be it. If the white hot glare of an aroused public compels regulators and LEOs to be more proactive in guarding the public from obvious danger, what’s the downside?
Yeah, that "sounds good" but often only as an excuse for mob-like initial outrage.

I get it. But flinging about accusations like 'criminal negligence' in the initial hours after an event and then arguably smugly coming back with a 'told you' kind of comment is not an attitude typically found implementing long-term solutions. As in, stop whipping up the mob at the outset, it doesn't help other than feed egos.
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:37 PM   #102
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Three updates of information.

First, Ride the Ducks Branson has offered to pay medical and funeral costs, help arrange lodging and transportation and give back any personal items found on the boat to all those who were aboard or their families.

Second, the Certificates of Inspection on these boats limit the conditions in which they may be operated, based on wind speed and wave height. There was a duck on the Delaware River that took on water and lost it's engine in 2015. The CG attributed it to "the rapidly worsening river conditions," but also cited a "failure to anticipate the change in the weather conditions." Also, Missouri law requires children 7 or younger to wear PFD's, but as a commercial boat, the duck is exempt from that requirement.

Third, a little history on the boat. It was built in 1944.
-In 2011, it lost steering with 30 passengers on board, but made it back to shore.
-In 2015, water got into the engine compartment as the boat entered the lake from land.
-A January 2016 inspection found inoperable heat detectors, which were later fixed.
-It was prohibited by the CG from operating January 2015 to April 2015. The only reason given is "hazardous/unsafe condition."
-Also in 2015 it was reported to have a leakage in a wheel well caused by sealant failure.
-In August 2017, Steve Paul of Test Drive Technologies inspected over 20 boats for Ripley. He wrote that due to the exhaust placement the engines and the bilge pumps might fail in inclement weather.
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:38 PM   #103
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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...
It is indeed quite a leap for folks to step outside defined authority in the face of disaster. I'm reminded of the plot from the Poseidon Adventure movie. Following the captain didn't help that bunch...

As for haulover conditions, I think that'd be more about the captain explaining that it's going to be a really challenging situation, as in "sit down, shut up and HANG ON".

That's pretty different than an otherwise placid lake ride getting hammered by a sudden storm. Sudden for the passengers, no doubt, but the story may unfold otherwise as to what the management knew, and when.

I've had guests onboard when a squall hit us. It was NOT fun being the captain. And I only had 8 onboard, not 30+. The memory is still terrifying more than a decade later. More than a few times there's the mental reminder not to yell at the passengers "shut the eff up, I'm TRYING to keep us from capsizing", because panicking them would NOT HELP. Even as I was getting close to panic. Or not telling them that the plan might be about to change to beaching this sucker rather than have it turn turtle and toss everyone out (or worse, trap them below). Better to have them scrambling up a beach, not bobbing in 50kt gusts and 7'+ confused and breaking waves. Thankfully it passed quickly and we escaped unscathed.

But we were in a 34' boat, not a low-freeboard thing like a DKW. I had everyone put on their lifejackets as soon as it was clear this it was not going to be a normal trip. That's what concerned me the most seeing those videos from the other boat... PFDs right there on the ceiling and not on the passengers!

I'm just glad to have survived to even have hindsight. My lesson learned was don't EVER again let a guest's schedule have any greater sway than sea & weather conditions.
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Old 07-23-2018, 05:49 PM   #104
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something just occurred to me.....The captain was able to release the canopy as they were going down...but all the life jackets are in the roof. A releasable canopy is a great thing...but it means you don't have access to the life jackets when you need them most!! That might need to be rethought.

At some point there needs to be a discussion about not being able to swim. Its too soon right now, and may be a very politically charged conversation, but drowning is the second leading cause of death for children 1-14 behind car accidents.
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Old 07-23-2018, 07:46 PM   #105
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The boat's captain should have ordered "life jackets on" as soon as conditions became iffy. Every commercial ship I've sailed on (except ferries) had a life-jacket drill at the beginning of the voyage regardless of conditions.
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:38 PM   #106
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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 had the very same thoughts!
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Old 07-23-2018, 08:52 PM   #107
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You can rest assured Ripley hasn't left themselves exposed.

Maybe! Sure, an LLC or corporation status certainly will provide protection. But who knows what a good attorney can do to circumvent those protections if they even have them.
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Old 07-23-2018, 09:24 PM   #108
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From ABC news:
Life jackets hang from duck boat canopy as investigators raise doomed vessel from Missouri lake

It would appear the 'canopy' is just a cover, not the 'whole roof'. Lots of PFDs still stuck in the roof framework when they brought it up.

As far as beaching is concerned, yards seem like miles when you're in rough seas. It'd be interesting to see a chart with boat route and weather overlaid.
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Old 07-23-2018, 10:33 PM   #109
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Greetings,
Mr. 99. "... yards seem like miles when you're in rough seas." Indeed and in reference to my previous post I have no idea if I would have enough "smarts" to realize that a beaching was my only out.
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Old 07-24-2018, 12:38 AM   #110
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[QUOTE=Benthic2;683486....The captain was able to release the canopy as they were going down...but all the life jackets are in the roof. A releasable canopy is a great thing...but it means you don't have access to the life jackets when you need them most!! That might need to be rethought.
...
[/QUOTE]

It appears from the pictures of the raised vehicle that the canopy is still attached.

I believe that the requirement for a lifeboat/safety drill only applies to vessels where passengers are expected to be on board for more the 24 hours. Vessels without lifeboats or rafts may be exempt.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:45 AM   #111
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Yeah, that "sounds good" but often only as an excuse for mob-like initial outrage.

I get it. But flinging about accusations like 'criminal negligence' in the initial hours after an event and then arguably smugly coming back with a 'told you' kind of comment is not an attitude typically found implementing long-term solutions. As in, stop whipping up the mob at the outset, it doesn't help other than feed egos.
Well, was I inaccurate? It sure looks like negligence, and do you doubt that criminal charges will be filed? As for interfering with the implementation of long term solutions, is anyone here tasked with that duty? This is an Internet forum, a place of commentary and opinion, not a public commission or investigatory board. Again: if “whipping up the mob at the outset” is what it takes to focus attention and blow up complacency then who cares if others are offended. Polite and politically correct behavior rarely are able to effect change.........
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:58 AM   #112
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Well, was I inaccurate? It sure looks like negligence, and do you doubt that criminal charges will be filed? .
I agree with part one and the appearance of negligence. However, I doubt seriously that any criminal charges will be filed. Would be highly unusual and would happen only if the evidence of continual and extreme actions on the part of the operators. There isn't a history there of accidents or injuries and certainly not of deaths. Criminal charges would most likely have to involve an internal dispute, such as some saying not to go out and someone above them ordering it or captain being told not to and going out anyway and neither of those scenarios is likely. Most D.A.'s are simply not going to file criminal charges on an accident of this nature, especially in a tourist town against a tourism company. Negligence yes, criminal negligence highly unlikely.
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:01 AM   #113
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Fake outrage, mob mentality, false accusations, destroyed lives, etc. All inflicted from the anonymous comfort of a keyboard miles away. Stop already, society isn't helped by behaving that way. Don't dress it up pretending to "focus attention".
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:53 AM   #114
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..... destroyed lives, etc. All inflicted from the anonymous comfort of a keyboard miles away......
you seriously think we are destroying lives here ???
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Old 07-24-2018, 09:57 AM   #115
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you seriously think we are destroying lives here ???
Odd, that I thought destroying lives was what we were reacting to.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:06 AM   #116
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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.
Seeing the wind and waves and maybe the guy could not swim. Maybe he was old or weak.
I think I could survive abandoning ship without a life vest, I can swim, would have been tough gong. Had an uncle could not swim, I never understood that, not taking swimming lessons. He was terrified of pools, especially the deep end.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:22 AM   #117
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Beaching might sound like a no-brainer but how much does it take to trip a duck? When it touched bottom it could have rolled and trapped everyone inside. Not likely but, how would you know? I guess closer to the beach is better, safe bet.

Same old argument against more regulation - If they aren't following the old regs is it realistic to expect them to follow the new regs? There's no way to know all of the regs. Some people believe you can't stop for fuel and groceries without committing a felony or three.

Mob mentality is a new crisis with connectivity. We may have outsmarted ourselves with smart phones.


If customers drowned while not wearing PFDs, a defense is going to be ugly.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:50 AM   #118
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Had an uncle could not swim, I never understood that, not taking swimming lessons. He was terrified of pools, especially the deep end.
My mother couldn't swim. Neither could any of her sisters. Seems her father wouldn't let them go swimming since they couldn't swim so no way they could ever learn. Interesting though, that every child of each of them learned to swim, even the kids of those most scared of the water. They did not want their kids to go through life not being able to swim as they'd had to.

Go back to the generation before me, the one many of you are members of, and many blacks in the south had no access to swimming pools or lessons as up until the late 60's. The sit in's first took place in Greensboro, NC in early 1960 but for full integration of facilities like swimming pools, it took many more years. This even impacted the next generation as access to pools remained less and many families just didn't swim as a general practice.

I know I was much older that kids today when I took swimming lessons. Now our 4 year old niece swims and a four year old friend at home is taking lessons this summer. I know many start younger. It seems so basic to most of us to learn but until recently it wasn't to many.
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Old 07-24-2018, 10:59 AM   #119
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Beaching might sound like a no-brainer but how much does it take to trip a duck? When it touched bottom it could have rolled and trapped everyone inside. Not likely but, how would you know? I guess closer to the beach is better, safe bet.
....
The dukw manual says to approach the beach at 90 degs and engage the wheel drive while still afloat so that it is active when the wheels touch the bottom.

However, depending on the wave direction relative to the shore, perhaps this would not have been possible in this situation.

My mom couldn't swim and didn't want us kids to be in the same boat, so she made us all take swimming lessons at a fairly early age.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:18 AM   #120
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My mother-in-law never learned to swim and is terrified of the water. She insisted that her kids learn to swim, and they all swam competitively and/or served as lifeguards.

When I attended college (NC State, a public university), swimming competence was required for graduation. Such is no longer the case.

Tragedies such as this one should bring a hue and cry from public health advocates, in favor of swim lessons in public schools. Swimming can be a life-changing and life-saving skill.
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