17 dead after duck boat sinks at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri


#63

While not politically correct, it is probably an accurate observation that the average visitor to Branson would not be described as lightweight, limber, and agile.


#64

This is the USCG website regarding assumed passenger weights for small passenger vessel stability evaluations:
https://www.dco.uscg.mil/aawpp/


#65

I would have a tendency to correct the restriction assertion by; «in water depth where the wheels never leave the sea bottom»


#66

It looks like the CG already does according to this article.

Like all 22 duck boats in operation in Branson, it was required to obtain a certificate of inspection, which it did in February 2017. The certificate of inspection places limits on when boats can enter the water based on wind speed and “sea state,” which refers to the height of waves. The certificate is valid for five years as long as the vessel submits to and passes annual Coast Guard inspections. The Stretch Duck 07’s most recent inspection was completed in November 2017, Coast Guard spokeswoman Alana Miller told the Post-Dispatch.

Sadowicz did not have information on Stretch Duck 07’s limits but said they will be a focal point of the investigation.

When the media asked the president what the weather limits were he said something along the lines of obviously we don’t go out in severe weather.

I don’t think weather limits would work because over time they erode or get forgotten. The issue is these boat have such a narrow range between being ok and being in big trouble. Just a matter of time before they get caught out.


#67

I am afraid that as European I am not allowed to view the content of the article. All very hush-hush. Trump at work?


#68

Now that the National Transportation Safety Board has taken custody of the duck boat that sank near Branson, claiming 17 lives, investigators will focus on whether operators violated Coast Guard rules by venturing onto Table Rock Lake as thunderstorms rolled in.

The 33-foot, 4-ton vessel was raised and drained on Monday, then loaded onto a vehicle and turned over to the NTSB.
Photos: Tourist duck boat capsizes on Table Rock Lake
Regional
Photos: Tourist duck boat capsizes on Table Rock Lake

Coast Guard Lt. Tasha Sadowicz of the agency’s St. Louis office said the boat that capsized and sank was known as “Stretch Duck 07.”

Like all 22 duck boats in operation in Branson, it was required to obtain a certificate of inspection, which it did in February 2017. The certificate of inspection places limits on when boats can enter the water based on wind speed and “sea state,” which refers to the height of waves. The certificate is valid for five years as long as the vessel submits to and passes annual Coast Guard inspections. The Stretch Duck 07’s most recent inspection was completed in November 2017, Coast Guard spokeswoman Alana Miller told the Post-Dispatch.

Sadowicz did not have information on Stretch Duck 07’s limits but said they will be a focal point of the investigation.
Capsized duck boat raised from Table Rock Lake
Capsized duck boat raised from Table Rock Lake

Photos show the life jackets still onboard after the boat sank in stormy weather Thursday evening, killing 17 of the 31 people on board.

Sadowicz did not have information on Stretch Duck 07’s limits but said they will be a focal point of the investigation.

Some witnesses have said the lake was calm and the storm came up suddenly Thursday evening. Sadowicz said investigators want to find out if operators were adequately monitoring the weather and should have reasonably known a storm was approaching.

Turbulent weather has caused trouble for duck boats before.

Coast Guard records show that a similar duck boat in Philadelphia took on a 3- or 4-foot wave on Oct. 3, 2015, as it carried 12 passengers on a tour of the Delaware River. Water got into the engine compartment, causing the engine to stall and setting the vessel adrift.
‘I didn’t even sleep’: In Branson, a mix of mourning and moving on
‘I didn’t even sleep’: In Branson, a mix of mourning and moving on

Friends and relatives of the 17 people who died Thursday on Table Rock Lake near Branson when a duck boat capsized try to make sense of what h…

The boat was safely towed to shore. The cause of the failure was determined to be “the rapidly worsening river conditions.” But the Coast Guard also cited a “failure to anticipate the change in the weather conditions.”

“The change of the tide from slack to flood and the strong northerly winds caused the waves to quickly build and exceeded the restriction on the vessel’s COI (certificate of inspection),” the Coast Guard report stated.

Duck boats were designed for military use in World War II. The Missouri boat that sank was built in 1944.

Steve Paul, who inspected the duck boat for compliance with Department of Transportation standards, told the Post-Dispatch that the duck boats of today aren’t the same as the duck boats used in World War II. The vessels are now longer and wider than the original duck boats.

“Back in the World War II days, yeah, you’d pile a bunch of people on it, but they were on there for 2 minutes,” Paul said. “They were designed to get from ship to shore as fast as possible, not drive around town, get in the water, get back out and put people’s lives at risk.” Paul owns Test Drive Technologies, which provides pre-purchase vehicle inspections and appraisals.

Stretch Duck 07 had a few apparently minor problems in recent years.

In 2011, the vessel “lost steering while underway on Table Rock Lake” with 30 passengers on board. The driver was able to make it back to shore, according to Coast Guard records.

On June 6, 2015, water got into the engine compartment as the boat entered the lake from land, a process known as “splash down.”

A January 2016 inspection found inoperable heat detectors, which were later fixed.
Safety concerns about duck boats have been sounded for years
Safety concerns about duck boats have been sounded for years

The Coast Guard prohibited the vessel from operating from January 2015 to April 2015, but the report does not state a reason other than “hazardous/unsafe condition.” Another report from February 2015 cited leakage in a wheel well caused by sealant failure.

Paul said he issued a written report in August 2017 to the Branson duck boat operator, Ripley Entertainment, after inspecting two dozen boats. In the report, he explained that the vessels’ engines — and pumps that remove water from their hulls — might fail in inclement weather.

On Saturday, former NTSB chairman James Hall said the design of duck boats makes them prone to the type of accident that occurred in Missouri, particularly when weather turns bad. He said they should be banned.

At a news conference Monday in Branson, Coast Guard Capt. Scott Stoermer said the investigation will also look into whether the boat captain followed company guidelines regarding use of life jackets.

Missouri law requires boat passengers ages 7 and younger to wear life jackets, but commercial vessels like the duck boats are exempt. The law requires enough life jackets for passengers and crew, and jackets that fit all of the children. Whether to advise passengers to use life jackets is an “operation decision” made by the captain, Stoermer said.

Several survivors made it to safety by climbing aboard another sightseeing boat that was nearby.

Many survivors told Missouri State Highway Patrol chaplain Steve Martin that they were able to swim to the Branson Belle paddle-wheeler. Some climbed up the paddle wheel itself. Others clung to the side of the boat until bystanders pulled them to safety.

“The waves were kind of pushing them toward the boat,” Martin said.

Ripley Entertainment’s website said it was offering to pay for all medical and funeral expenses for victims, to return all personal items from the accident scene and to help with families’ travel or accommodations. The company also said it was offering grief counseling for its own employees.

Nine of the people who died belonged to one Indiana family. Others killed came from Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois. The dead included five children. Fourteen people survived.

Divers recovered a video-recording device from the boat and sent it to the NTSB lab in Washington, D.C. Agency spokesman Keith Holloway said it was unclear what the recorder captured.

Salter reported from St. Louis. Hollingsworth reported from Kansas City, Mo. The Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.


#69

According to the NWS thunderstorms warnings are broadcast when a thunderstorm is actually spotted either visually or by radar. Are you saying that they put out warnings even when that criteria is not met? Or are you talking about a thunderstorm watch?


#70

EU at work.The site apparently elected not to comply with the EU’s new online privacy rules.

I had the same issue with some US newspaper sites while in Europe earlier this month.


#71

No, I simply stated that in some regions thunderstorms are so frequent and common that a warning is taken with the same weight as “chance of rain.”


#72

So it is not Trump but this idiocracy is created by our ‘friends’ in Brussel. Most Europeans are so fed up with the constant meddling in our lives by that self enriching mob. A Nexit would be a good solution.


#73

And if the de Nederlanders aren’t free, what chance do the rest of us have?


#74

Warnings (issuance process)

The National Weather Service is responsible for issuing forecasts, watches and warnings for a variety of weather and water hazards. A “warning” is issued when hazardous weather poses an immediate threat to life or property. However, the process of issuing a warning varies depending on the type of hazard. This is due to the fact that hazards occur on vastly different time and distance scales. For example, tornadoes typically last a matter of minutes and impact relatively small areas, while Nor’easters can produce blizzard conditions over hundreds of square miles and last for days.

When weather hazards are small in size and develop quickly, forecasters must rely heavily on observational data from Doppler radar, satellite and other ground-based equipment and sensors to inform them during the warning process. This would include such hazards as severe thunderstorms and flash flooding – where forecasters continuously monitor thunderstorms in real-time and determine where the largest impacts will occur. Forecaster experience and knowledge of the local area also play a large role in the warning process. For example, an understanding of the local creeks, streams and reservoir operations would be crucial when determining whether or not to issue a flash flooding warning.

Tsunamis and solar events are two types of hazards that also require a quick response based on monitoring various observational datasets, such as seismometers to detect earthquakes and potential tsunamis or X-ray telescopes mounted on satellites that can detect solar activity ahead of geomagnetic storms. Once the threat is detected and the forecaster determines a warning is needed, computer software is used to help quickly craft the warning and disseminate the message through a number of communication channels.

A slightly different approach is taken in the warning process for hazards that are larger in scale and slower-evolving, such as hurricanes or low pressure systems that produce winter storms. In these cases, the process hinges on forecasters’ use and interpretation of numerical weather models. There are a multitude of numerical weather prediction models running continuously around the world. Forecasters use this computer-generated output in combination with conceptual models and statistical output to come up with a most likely solution.

Once forecasters’ have high enough confidence there will be significant impacts, a warning is issued in as far advance as possible, for areas that are expected to see hazardous weather. It’s important to note that a combination of observational datasets and numerical models are used in the warning process for all hazards. It is the forecasters’ role to sift through the mountain of data, determine what’s important and issue the warning.

Severe Weather Definitions

Severe Thunderstorm

A thunderstorm that produces a tornado, winds of at least 58 mph (50 knots or ~93 km/h), and/or hail at least 1" in diameter. Structural wind damage may imply the occurrence of a severe thunderstorm. A thunderstorm wind equal to or greater than 40 mph (35 knots or ~64 km/h) and/or hail of at least ½" is defined as approaching severe.

If the thunderstorms don’t meet the criteria no warning will be issued.


#75

I thought the USCG allowance of 185 (83.9 kgs) pounds per person was pretty generous. When I first had to take an interest in such things I have a feeling that it was 65kg and it then increased to 74kgs. The last HUET course I attended there was no one on the course under 85kgs, one Ukrainian was 108kgs and 6 foot 4 . A full load for a super Puma was 15 instead of 20.


#76

Maybe I’m looking at it through an experienced mariners eyes too much, but… how in the heck did the passengers not escape as it went down? The sides are wide freaking open!


#77

My guess is brain freeze induced by sheer panic. To say these tourists were ill prepared for a maritime shit show is an understatement . Not blaming anybody, just sayin’.


#78

I was struck by the terrifying idea that they might have been wearing seatbelts, and unable to escape for that reason. I would like someone to assure me that I have a morbid imagination and that no one would do that.


#79

“Duck” behind the dinner boat and catch a lee?

Shoulda, coulda, woulda.

Didn’t


#80

Elderly, overweight, out of shape adults who can’t swim or swim very weakly, and young children are easily overcome and drowned. Just the facts, unfortunately.


#81

In this photo the windows can be seen, maybe pexiglass or similar.

In an emergency people tend to take action that they are familar with, which is why mariners have frequent drills, general alarm rings = muster. In this case the passengers boarded from the rear so under stress the only option that would readily come to mind is leaving the same way, through the exit at the back of the boat.


#82

But I have never been. . . oh, wait. . . .