Coast Guard ignored duck boat safety proposals, national safety board says

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ST. LOUIS — The National Transportation Safety Board said the Coast Guard repeatedly ignored safety recommendations that could have made tourist duck boats safer and potentially prevented a Missouri accident that killed 17 people.

The NTSB on Wednesday released a “Safety Recommendation Report” on the accident that happened in July 2018, when a Ride the Ducks of Branson boat sank during a sudden and severe storm.

Former World War II amphibious vehicles known as duck boats operate around the country.

The NTSB says that, since an Arkansas duck boat accident killed 13 people in 1999, it had repeatedly urged the Coast Guard to require them to be better able to remain afloat when flooded, and to remove impediments to escape.

Coast Guard Lt. Amy Midgett says the Coast Guard has previously issued guidance to duck boat operators aimed at ensuring safety. The Guard had previously stated that the duck boat operators violated safety terms.

Midgett said the Guard is launching a new review based on the NTSB recommendations.

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