Missouri files charges against three duck boat employees

I’m glad to see some office people being held accountable instead of all legal consequences being dumped on the captain.

“The probable cause statement also alleges general manager Curtis Lanham and operations supervisor Charles Baltzell of Ride the Ducks Branson failed to communicate weather conditions and stop operating as the storm approached… Each was charged with 17 counts of involuntary manslaughter”


Although agree, Captain had same access to the predicted weather conditions as well as the squats in management in that small business. Not what I would put on my resume"` Duck Boat Captain". Unless I was a guide to shoot ducks from a much more capable platform.

The captain is being charged also.

The captain had limited weather forecast access on the boat which is why the office guys are taking since blame for not following the developing weather and calling the captain.

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This has been discussed here quite a bit but there is a combination of a big lake with the potential for severe thunderstorms and boats not capable of navigating in more than a couple foot seas. Running a safe operation would require the company to have a relatively sophisticated weather monitoring and decision-making system.

What are the chances that an organization capable of that level of monitoring would be created and maintained by an outfit called Ripley’s Believe It or Not? And based on the words the CG had typed on a paper document?

There was a article in the WP that covered both bases wrt dissemination of information.

Meteorologists don’t just look at the glossy green, yellow and red radar you may see on cellphone apps. There are at least a dozen Doppler radar-derived products used to make judgment calls during severe weather situations.

In the case of Branson, the damaging winds preceded rain by as much as 10 miles or more. Meteorologists spotted that gust-front feature by locating a fine line on radar. But on most commonplace cellphone apps, that subtle feature could easily have been erased by smoothing algorithms.

It’s important to understand the limitations of the tools being used.

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Do they not have VHF weather with the warning alarms there???

Isn’t this called Double Jeopardy?

Probably not. Depends on why and how the previous case was dismissed. If it was dismissed “without prejudice” the charges can be filed again.

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I edited my post.