Missouri Senator Hawley calls on U.S. Coast Guard to adopt NTSB recommendations after duck boat tragedy

NEAR BRANSON, Mo. -- U.S. Senator Josh Hawley is urging the U.S. Coast Guard to adopt the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) safety recommendations issued in last month’s report on the 2018 duck boat tragedy on Table Rock Lake.

In April, The National Transportation Safety Board released the findings of its investigation into the sinking of the Ride the Ducks vessel. The sinking killed 17 of the 31 people on board. The NTSB repeated criticism of the Coast Guard it issued in November, saying the agency had ignored its recommendations to improve the boats since a duck boat accident in Arkansas killed 13 people in 1999. The board said it has repeatedly urged the Coast Guard to require the boats be upgraded to stay afloat when flooded, and to remove barriers to escape, such as canopies.

“These common-sense safety measures are needed today to protect more families from experiencing the same tragic end," said Senator Hawley. 'It is in your power to ensure ‘duck boat’ is not synonymous with ‘floating metal death trap.’ The NTSB recommendations would have protected the families on board Stretch Duck 7 and the Miss Majestic. I urge you to act immediately to adopt and enforce the NTSB recommendations.”

Senator Hawley introduced legislation to improve the safety of duck boats based on the NTSB’s recommendations following a duck boat accident in 1999, including commonsense provisions to require the use of life jackets and equipping all operating duck boats to be more buoyant in the case of emergency flooding.