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Old 20 July 2018, 07:37 AM
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Default Tourist boat capsizes, sinks on Missouri lake, killing at least 11

At least 11 people, including children, died after a boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank Thursday night, the local sheriff said.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/branson...ay-2018-07-19/
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Old 20 July 2018, 02:03 PM
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I wasn't able to read the article in full for reasons. Did they say whether anyone was wearing a life jacket, and what the water temperature was?

Seaboe
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Old 20 July 2018, 02:37 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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This reads strange, but since the duck boats are amphibious, it makes sense.

Quote:
Duck boats, known for their ability to travel on land and in water, have been involved in other deadly incidents in the past. They include one in 2015 in Seattle in which five college students were killed when a boat collided with a bus.
OY
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Old 20 July 2018, 06:22 PM
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E. Q. Taft E. Q. Taft is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
I wasn't able to read the article in full for reasons. Did they say whether anyone was wearing a life jacket, and what the water temperature was?
Quote:
The duck boat had life jackets onboard but Missouri law doesn't require people to wear them...Authorities were working to determine what happened and had no information about whether passengers were wearing life jackets or whether they were just stowed onboard.
Nothing about the water temperature, but the winds were apparently up to 65mph, and the president of the tour company said the boat should not have gone out in those conditions.

Death count now up to 17, with 14 survivors, 7 of whom were injured.

ETA: This site seems to indicate that the water temperature would have been in the high 80's.

Last edited by E. Q. Taft; 20 July 2018 at 06:29 PM.
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  #5  
Old 20 July 2018, 06:40 PM
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FYI, OY, the accident in Seattle was caused when a tire blew out on the Duck, sending it across the center line where it hit the bus. Poor maintenance, IIRC.

Seaboe
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Old 20 July 2018, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Duck boats, known for their ability to travel on land and in water, have been involved in other deadly incidents in the past...
Slight hijack, but this is a pet peeve of mine -- whenever there's an accident involving some type of vehicle journalists seem to feel the need to mention previous accidents involving that kind of vehicle, as if this establishes some sort of pattern, even if the causes of those accidents are completely unrelated. If a 737 crashes somewhere in the world you'll hear about other times 737s have crashed, even if they crashed for completely different reasons, and usually reasons that had nothing to do with the type of plane involved.

In this case one was weather and one was a blown tire. The only thing the two accidents have in common is that both involved Ducks.
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Old 20 July 2018, 07:36 PM
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Well, here are some rundowns of previous incidents. Had trouble finding one article with all. They really ought not to be driving around from the sounds of it. Looks like more land crashes than water incidents.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/20/befo...history-o.html

https://abcnews.go.com/US/duck-boat-...ry?id=56707672

https://www.news-leader.com/story/ne...ies/804987002/
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  #8  
Old 20 July 2018, 07:56 PM
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I think what all the accidents have in common is that they involved a vehicle which is designed for military use to travel on both land and water, doing neither very well, which has been used by amateur drivers/boat captains to transport a large number of tourists in less than perfect safety conditions.

From what I've read they had life vests available, but people were not wearing them. There was just a couple of inches of free board in the video. I gotta believe once those things founder they sink fast.

The 'captain' managed to save himself though the driver died.
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Old 20 July 2018, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
FYI, OY, the accident in Seattle was caused when a tire blew out on the Duck, sending it across the center line where it hit the bus. Poor maintenance, IIRC.

Seaboe
The NTSB put the probable cause on poor maintenance, yes, but it didn't blow a tire. The left front axle housing failed.

Quote:
The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Seattle, Washington, crash was the mechanical failure, due to improper manufacturing by Ride the Ducks International (vehicle manufacturer) and inadequate maintenance by Ride the Ducks of Seattle (operator), of the left front axle housing of the stretch amphibious passenger vehicle (APV) DUCK 6, which resulted in loss of vehicle control. Contributing to the severity of the motorcoach occupant injuries was the APV’s structural incompatibility with the motorcoach, causing intrusion into the motorcoach sidewall, windows, and interior passenger compartment. Contributing to the severity of the APV passenger injuries were the lack of occupant crash protections and the high impact forces.
Souce: https://ntsb.gov/investigations/Acci...s/HAR1602.aspx

~Psihala
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  #10  
Old 20 July 2018, 09:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
I think what all the accidents have in common is that they involved a vehicle which is designed for military use to travel on both land and water, doing neither very well, which has been used by amateur drivers/boat captains to transport a large number of tourists in less than perfect safety conditions.
Yes, in the case where it's something as unusual as a DUKW / Duck, I think it is worth mentioning that they all have the vehicle in common. The story I saw about this accident only mentioned other, fatal accidents in the USA, but there was a succession of incidents in the UK a few years ago too. (None fatal, but two sinkings and a fire on occupied tourist boats could easily have caused as many deaths as the ones above). I'm sure I've read of other accidents elsewhere in the world as well.

There can't be that many of these still around and in use, so the accident rate does seem rather high... they're increasingly ageing and they seem to be hard to maintain to usable standards.
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  #11  
Old 20 July 2018, 09:59 PM
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It is a lake in Missouri in July so there is zero chance that water temperature was a problem. You could sit in the lake all day and not get cold.

I wonder if people were trapped inside the boat when it rolled over? A life jacket won't help if you are trapped.
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Old 20 July 2018, 10:01 PM
jimmy101_again jimmy101_again is offline
 
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I think a good definition of this type of vehicle is that it is a cross between a truck and a boat. But being a cross means it is a lousy truck and a lousy boat.
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Old 20 July 2018, 10:05 PM
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It hit the bottom of the lake wheels down so I don't think that was the case. In a similar incident that happened in 1999, in Arkansas, people were trapped by the canopy. That looks like a real possibility here. From the video the windows look like too small for a frantic escape when the boat is quickly sinking. If the people on the windows didn't get out neither did the people in the middle.

Agreeing that life jackets wouldn't help if you were trapped, but if a kid had a life jacket on, you could pretty much guarantee their survival by pushing them out the window.

It looks like it went down so fast that people didn't have enough time to get their wits about them to overcome the obstacles the sinking presented.
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Old 21 July 2018, 12:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
It looks like it went down so fast that people didn't have enough time to get their wits about them to overcome the obstacles the sinking presented.
I could imagine some thrashing and kicking as a tightly packed mass of people try to deal with something like this wouldn’t help. Also, everything I’ve seen has said the thing capsized. So maybe it rolled over again before touching bottom to land on its wheels, which also would have made it hard to get out. Disorientation and whatnot. Vehicle rollovers can be disorienting, even without all the debris and the water that would go into something like this rolling over.

And the even if you get out, if you don’t have a life jacket and aren’t a good swimmer... those were pretty rough waves to swim in. I’ve swam in the ocean (and the Arabian Gulf!), but never with white caps like in the videos.
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Old 21 July 2018, 01:04 AM
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Most of the the news accounts I have read said that it either capsized or was swamped. There is a witness who said that it was leaning to the right before it sank and another one who reports "It was maybe two minutes later, and we actually heard the captain say that the boat flipped or the boat is sinking..."

I have also seen this quote, from sheriff Doug Rader, multiple places; "The boat sank, wheels down, 40 feet down, and then rolled to an area 80 feet deep"

Another witness says; "...she saw passengers aboard the duck boat sitting down, with the plastic windows rolled down to try to keep the water out...".
I looked at a lot of pictures to find that they had vinyl windows that roll down from above and snap below. If these were all in place I can see where it would have been easy to get trapped in all the confusion.

In some of these pics the life jackets are clearly visible attached to the top of the vehicle. I think that if someone didn't have their life jacket on when the boat foundered they probably would not even make an attempt at it once they started going down.

The 'captain' survived, I would be interested as to what he has to say.

One other thing I noticed, the boats way 7 tons. I would think once they take on enough water the trip to the bottom is pretty fast. A good swimmer with lungs full of air could probably escape, swim to the surface and survive if they kept their wits about them. But, its easy to see why so many people didn't make it.
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Old 21 July 2018, 01:59 AM
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I am seeing one article with an account that says the boat did a 'nose-dive.' I suppose this is one of those instances where a combination of shaky eye-witness testimony and a lack of clarity over terms (people not knowing the difference between capsizing and swamping) may result in some delay and investigation before the true details are known.

Anyways, 'captain’ in scare quotes is probably about right. Tour guide is probably more like it.
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  #17  
Old 21 July 2018, 02:44 AM
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They referred to him as captain in some of the article, but someone else was piloting the boat which leads me to believe that tour guide was a more appropriate description.

Interesting quote from one of the survivors:
Quote:
"And then I just let go and I started floating. And I was floating up to the top. I felt the water temperature raise to warm," she said. "And then I felt the temperature raise, I jumped up and I saw the big boat that sits out there,"
I spent most of the first week of July swimming in a lake in Wisconsin. This lake was warm on top, but about 8 feet down it changed to cold and below that it was downright icy. From her description, I would say she was at least 10 feet under the water when she 'let go' which would seem to confirm that the boat sank fast.
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Old 21 July 2018, 12:32 PM
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If you were actually inside an enclosed boat, I'm not sure wearing a life jacket would help you to get out of it depending where the openings were - if you ended up trapped against a ceiling, you'd have to fight down against the buoyancy of the jacket to get out of a doorway or window below that level. That's one of the reasons you're told not to inflate your life jacket on a plane until you've got outside the aircraft, I think.

I'm not sure that applies in this case since it looks like there was only a tarpaulin / plastic cover, and if the windows had been rolled up it would probably have been no harder to get out of them with life jackets on anyway. (Some of the eyewitness reports now say that they were explicitly told not to put the life jackets on before the voyage, but it seems that was more because it would have been too much trouble than for any legitimate reason).
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Old 21 July 2018, 02:40 PM
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In a confined space, the added bulk of a life jacket would also make escaping that much harder even without having to fight its buoyancy.
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  #20  
Old 21 July 2018, 05:04 PM
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And I've rarely been on a tourist boat trip (or any public boat trip - ferries, for example) where everybody has had to wear a life jacket by default. It's only been for things like white water rafting or jetboating where there's a significant chance of falling out.

I don't know how the DUKW compares with those (much more sedate, I should think), but "the boat might sink" isn't usually sufficient reason to make people wear life jackets on a boat. They're far more to counter the risk of falling overboard if you're in an open boat or on deck. Of course they should be reasonably available if the boat does start to sink...
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