Branson Duck Boat Accident
On July 19, 2018, a “Duck Boat” capsized and sank near the tourist city of Branson, Missouri. Duck Boats are amphibious vehicles that can travel on both land and water. The boat, while operating in the Table Rock Lake, sank during a severe thunderstorm. 29 passengers and two crew members were aboard. Winds of up to 70 miles-per-hour were reported by the National Weather Service shortly before the boat sank. According to eyewitness reports, waves on the lake were in excess of five feet tall.
Although medical treatment continues for a number of passengers, it has been reported that 17 individuals have lost their lives. At this time the extent of the injuries and number of people affected by this disaster is not confirmed, but our thoughts and prayers remain with the families of those who have been affected by this tragedy.
Duck Boat tours have become popular tourist attractions in many cities across the United States and elsewhere. There is an unfortunately long history of deadly accidents involving duck boats. In 2015, five died and 69 others were injured when a duck boat crashed with a bus. A duck boat sank on Lake Hamilton in Arkansas in 1999, resulting in the deaths of 13 passengers. In 2010, two passengers drowned after a duck boat they were on was struck by a barge in the Delaware River.
The National Transportation Safety Board has previously investigated deadly duck boat incidents and found that the overhead canopies located on duck boats have contributed to passenger deaths. The canopies can prevent passengers from escaping the vehicle during an emergency. The NTSB has said it is sending a team to investigate this deadly accident.
The Duck Boat that sank in this tragedy was owned and operated by Ripley Entertainment, Inc. Spagnoletti Law Firm has previously handled personal injury and wrongful death claims arising out of incidents occurring at international and domestic tourist and recreational attractions, as well as boating accidents, and has brought claims against the owner of the boat that sank, Ripley Entertainment, Inc. The experienced attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one has suffered a loss as a result of this deadly tragedy. Please contact us to learn about your legal rights.