The Philadelphia Personal Injury Law Blog

Safety Review After Ride the Ducks Accident

The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that Ride the Ducks International review its safety program and ensure its employees are properly trained on safety procedures to avoid a repeat of last year’s fatal crash on the Delaware River.

Last year, a duck boat carrying 35 tourists stalled in the middle of the river. As the boat lay motionless, a tugboat pushed a barge into the boat. Many of the tourists were thrown into the river and two Hungarian tourists drowned.

A fatal duck boat accident may seem far-fetched, and it was. There was basically a perfect storm of errors by every player in the accident that culminated in the collision and the deaths of the two young tourists. At each step leading up to the accident, including the collision itself, there were measures that could have been taken that may have prevented serious injury or death. But none of these things were done.

The operators of the duck boat mistakenly believed there to be a fire on the boat and so shut down the boat in the middle of a busy ship thoroughfare, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. The duck boat operators made a mistake.

The operator of the tugboat was distracted and texting while piloting the ship, reports the Inquirer. The operator was not in the best position to see the stranded duck boat, missed it completely, and rammed right into it. The tugboat operator was at fault.

Prior to the collision, the duck boat operator failed to tell passengers to don life jackets until shortly before impact, reports the Inquirer. The duck boat operators were at fault again.

These are just some of the mistakes that occurred leading up to the fatal Ride the Ducks accident. If the proper steps at been taken at any of these moments, fatalities may have been avoided. Now federal authorities have stepped in and hopefully a review of safety procedures and employee training can help avoid future accidents.

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