Duck boat probe will check if Coast Guard rules were ignored

Duck Boat Survivor Cries Over 9 Relatives’ Drowning & Reveals Captain Said They Didn’t Need Life Vests

The attorney general said investigators from the Missouri State Highway Patrol will also look at the boat's canopy and how hard it was for the passengers and crew to get off during the chaotic event.

Divers have recovered a video recorder from the sunken duck boat that may provide clues to the disaster.

Seventeen people died when the Ride the Ducks boat went down Thursday night in Table Rock Lake on the outskirts of Branson after a thunderstorm generated near-hurricane strength winds. The boat was submerged in 80 feet (24 meters) of water. Tia is standing next to her 76-year-old uncle, who is by her husband Glenn, their 13-year-old nephew Donovan Hall and 9-year-old cousin Reece.

Tia Coleman of Indianapolis, Indiana, lost nine members of her family in the accident, including her husband and three children, ages 1 to 9.

Hawley could not say whether investigators had spoken with the captain, one of 14 survivors.

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USA Today reported that in the 1999 incident, the NTSB charged that the Coast Guard failed to adequately oversee the private operation and the owner failed to properly maintain a seal that allowed water to get into the vehicle.

The company hasn't commented on Coleman's account of the tour, which usually begins with a tour of downtown Branson, known for its country shows and entertainment, before the vessel enters the lake for a short ride on the water. It has been brought to NTSB labs in Washington, D.C., for analysis.

Coleman said she hit her head as she tried to exit the boat and was later pulled from the water.

Steven Paul could see the duck boat's danger nearly immediately. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn't regulate duck boats because they're amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn't in this case because it's a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one.

Funeral services are set for Wednesday for two Arkansas victims of a duck boat accident in a Missouri lake. She said somehow she was able to reach the boat.

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The boat was lifted out of Table Rock Lake, Missouri, with a crane this morning. The canopies on top of the vessels make it almost impossible to escape if they are tipped over. They were later modified for use for sightseeing in cities around the U.S. The long, narrow vehicles are shaped like boats, but have wheels they use when on land.

"The safety board is particularly concerned that both adults and children wearing life jackets are at risk of being drowned if entrapped by the overhead canopy", the report reads. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration determined that the front axle on the boat broke, causing the driver to lose control.

Duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people since 1999, and a private inspector said on Saturday that he had warned the operator that design flaws meant that the boat's engines and pumps might fail in bad weather. "We will continue to do all we can to assist the families who were involved and the authorities as they continue with the search and rescue".

Crews were getting ready to hoist it onto a flat bed truck so it could be turned over to the NTSB so the agency could continue its investigation. She said she's been getting through the tragedy with a lot of prayers, and thanked the support of family members and friends.

The Coast Guard requires life jackets on normal boats, but for amphibious tour boats, which are part boat and part bus, recommendations are left up to the captain.

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