Documents on deadly duck boat accident released

A photo taken by a witness shortly after the deadly duck boat accident along the Delaware River in Philadelphia on July 7, 2010. The photo was released as part of the investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
March 7, 2011 3:57:43 PM PST
The National Transportation Safety Board released documents from investigators about the deadly duck boat crash in Philadelphia.

A barge collided with and sank one of the "Ride the Ducks" boats in July 2010 as it floated disabled in the Delaware River.

The documents released Monday are three "Factual Reports" regarding the operations that lead up to the incident, the factors in the survival of the accident victims, and the engineering of the vessels involved in the accident.

The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that usually, when a boat becomes disabled in the water, crew and passengers are supposed to put life jackets on immediately according to Ride the Ducks company policy. That did not happed in the duck boat accident, and none of the people involved got their life jackets on properly.

The NTSB reports state that company policy of Ride the Ducks is for the U.S. Coast Guard to be called when a vessel becomes disabled. That also didn't happed in the doat boat accident.

Also, the tug boat company had a policy in place that crewmembers should not be using cellular phones while on duty, accordign to the NTSB reports. However, the 2nd mate of the ship, who was at the helm at the time of the accident, had received several phone calls during his duty time including the moment of impact with the duck boat.

You can read all of the factual reports at the following links:
* NTSB - Factual Report of Group Chairman
* NTSB - Survival Factors Group Factual Report
* NTSB - Engineering Factual Report

In addition to the factual reports prepared by the investigative teams, the NTSB website, also houses interview transcripts, photographs and other documents from the investigation.

RELATED: You can get a look at all of the NTSB documents linked to the case

Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board said, in a preliminary report in September 2010, that moments before the collision the duck boat repeatedly made calls to the tugboat which was guiding the 250-foot barge that ultimately struck the duck boat near Penn's Landing along the Delaware River. The tugboat did not respond.

Drug and alcohol tests on the crews of both vessels were negative, the report said.

The accident killed two Hungarian tourists, Dora Scventner and Szabolc Prem. Dora and Szabolc had been part of a tour group from Hungary. They were on a Ride the Ducks tour boat anchored 150 feet from shore in the Delaware River due to technical problems, when it was hit by a tug and barge. The families have since filed suit against the tour and the tugboat operators saying they hope to prevent something like this from happening again.

Ride the Ducks of Norcross, Ga., has said it wanted its tours to resume this month.


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