Who’s Responsible for the Duck Boat Disaster?

On July 19, 2018, a tour boat known as a “duck boat” capsized during a storm on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. Among the two crew members and 29 passengers on board, a total of 17 died—16 passengers and one from the crew. One woman lost nine of her family members in the tragedy. The sinking near Branson is far from the first duck boat fatalities in the U.S. Over the past 20 years, almost 40 people have died in duck boat accidents, either on the road or in the water (a duck boat can navigate both). Thirteen people died when a duck boat sank on a lake near Hot Springs, Arkansas, in May, 1999. What is a Duck Boat? Duck boats come from the military. During World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. military used DUKW (duck) boats to move goods and troops over both land and water. The boats are amphibious, meaning they can move smoothly from land to water and vice versa. The boats were never intended to have a long life span, and yet a number of them are still in use as commercial tourist transportation. It has been determined that the duck[…..]

Top Ten Tips for Safe Boating

The weather many of us have waited for—boating weather—has finally arrived. And with it arrives the risks of that most pleasurable of pastimes on the water. But how many of us think about anything beyond the excitement of getting our craft back out? Safe Boating Week, which runs from May 21 to 27, is meant to make you think. The National Safe Boating Council, which sponsors the week, promotes the use of life jackets and provides information regarding their usage. Wearing a life jacket really is the easiest and likeliest way to stay alive while out on the water should an accident put you in the drink. U.S. Coast guard statistics reveal that, in 2014, the reported cause of death in over three-fourths of all boating fatalities was drowning. And, of all those drowning victims, a staggering 84 percent did not have on life jackets. Common Causes of Boating Fatalities During 2014, 610 deaths happened out on the water, registering a slight increase over 2013. Of the contributing factors to accidents, the top five were: Alcohol usage. This is the leading factor in over one-fifth of all deaths, where the primary cause was known. Excessive speed. Operator’s lack of attention.[…..]

Wear It!

Summer is the time when many of us like to go boating. But remember, every time you are out on the water, make sure you “Wear It!” Wear your life jacket, that is. Always wearing your life jacket was the focus of this year’s Safe Boating Week (May 16-22, 2015) and also the focus of the yearlong North American Safe Boating Campaign. The campaign is co-sponsored by the National Safe Boating Council and the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division. The Wear It! campaign aims to educate people about the necessity of life jackets and the different varieties of life jackets, in an effort to reduce drowning fatalities. In 2014, drowning was the reported cause of death in 78 percent of all boating fatalities, according to U.S. Coast Guard ‘s statistics. Of those drowning deaths, 84 percent did not have a life jacket on. Obviously, we could greatly reduce drownings if people would simply wear their life jackets, and wear the right kind of life jacket for them, while boating. What Kind of Life Jacket Do I Wear? Choosing the right life jacket for you and all your boat’s passengers can be a little intimidating. We’ll take this step by[…..]

MD State Delegate Donald H. Dwyer, Jr. Drinking While Boating, Accident Injures Six

According to a news report by The Baltimore Sun, Del. Donald H. Dwyer, Jr. was recently involved in a serious MD boating accident that injured six people, including four children. The Maryland lawmaker was piloting a speedboat on the Magothy River in Anne Arundel County when his watercraft collided with a vessel full of children, leaving three of the child passengers to be treated and released for minor cuts, bruises, and one broken arm. The fourth injured child, a five-year-old girl, was thrown from the craft during the aquatic collision and suffered a fractured skull. The MD delegate admitted to drinking alcohol while he was operating his 27-foot Baja, named The Legislator, and appeared before reporters at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center to tell them his blood alcohol level was 0.2, which is more than twice the legal limit for operating a boat. Dwyer stated he “deeply regrets [his] actions and asks for your forgiveness,” adding that his thoughts are with the others injured in the collision. At present time, a police sergeant with the Maryland Natural Resources Department said investigators will need weeks to reconstruct the accident and are awaiting blood tests to confirm whether Dwyer was boating under[…..]

Police Looking for Boaters in Boat and Run Accident

The Maryland Natural Resources Police are searching for a boat that was involved in a hit and run boating accident that occurred near the Chesapeake Bay at Thomas Point, according to The Baltimore Sun. A powerboat traveling at about 40 knots hit the stern of an anchored sailboat, knocking the sailboat’s owner into the water and breaking both of his legs in the boating accident in Maryland. The man said he attempted to avoid the collision by diving underneath the surface of the water but the boat stuck both of his legs. He was rescued by Natural Resources Police officers who jumped into the water as he started to sink beneath the surface. NRP officers are looking for a white 21 foot Donzi speedboat, which carried a couple in their 30s or 40s. Under Maryland law, boaters are required to travel at safe speeds and to have a lookout. According to statistics, most boating accidents in the United States are caused by collisions. In 2007, there were 1,329 boating accidents that were caused by collisions. Those accidents killed 66 people and injured 953. One of the most typical causes of a collision is the failure to keep a proper lookout.[…..]