NTSB to hold meeting to determine probable cause of fatal Missouri duck boat sinking

Stretch Duck 7 after it was recovered from the waters of Table Rock Lake near Branson Missouri following its sinking during a heavy-winds storm on July 19, 2018 (Photo: NTSB/Brian Young)

The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a board meeting at 09:30 Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, to determine the probable cause of a fatal amphibious passenger vessel sinking in Branson, Missouri, on July 19, 2018.

Stretch Duck 7, an amphibious passenger vessel, had 29 passengers and two crewmembers aboard for a tour when weather conditions deteriorated on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake. One crewmember and 16 passengers died in the ensuing accident, for which the captain and two other employees of boat owner Ripley Entertainment have been charged.

In November 2019, the NTSB issued additional maritime safety recommendations regarding reserve buoyancy for modified World War II-era DUKW amphibious passenger vessels better known as “duck boats.” These new recommendations were added to 22 other recommendations that have been implemented since 1999 in relation to these vessels, which continue to be used today as tour boats in a number of US cities.

In keeping with established federal and local social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, while also ensuring the NTSB’s compliance with the Government in the Sunshine Act, the board meeting for the investigation will be webcast to the public, with the board members and investigative staff meeting virtually. There will be no physical gathering to facilitate the board meeting.

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