According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, attorneys for the victims who died on July 7 in the Delaware River duck-boat accident are asking that the city and Coast Guard stop the duck boats from operating again. The victims, who were Hungarian tourists, died when Duck 34 was struck by a 250-foot-long barge being pushed by the tug Caribbean Sea.
The company, Ride the Ducks, wants to operate the amphibious boats this season and was working with the Coast Guard and the city by undergoing testing and mechanical inspections.
The lawyers representing the family members of the victims analyzed a 1999 duck boat accident in Arkansas and they found that the ducks’ design as well as its canvas canopies makes the vessels hazardous as a tourist craft.
The Coast Guard is continuing to directly collaborate with Ride the Ducks and the City of Philadelphia to make sure that safety issues are addressed.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommended that the Coast Guard require the Duck boats to install reserve buoyancy. These would keep even a vessel swamped with water afloat.
The Arkansas boating accident killed 13 people and the NTSB found that as the duck sank, the passengers’ bodies were forced into the overhead canopy, which acted like a net to entrap them.
CNN reported that rrecreational boating accident deaths are on the rise. The article said that the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety announced that deaths caused by recreational boating accidents have increased by 3.8 percent, with related injuries increasing by 0.8 percent.