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The Tragedy

On July 7, 2010, a duck-boat carrying tourist passengers was struck by a barge and capsized in the Delaware River. Police reported 35 tourists rescued after a frantic search and rescue operation while 2 tourists were unfortunately reported as casualties of the tragedy. A lot of people had witnessed the …

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The Aftermath: the Duck Boat Tragedy

To many, these duckboats were known to as a very enjoyable amphibian ride and a perfect way to tour around the city. However, after the incident that happened in 2011, when the once happy boat took young lives due to a collision accident, the excitement that the people feel was …

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The Tragedy

On July 7, 2010, a duck-boat carrying tourist passengers was struck by a barge and capsized in the Delaware River. Police reported 35 tourists rescued after a frantic search and rescue operation while 2 tourists were unfortunately reported as casualties of the tragedy. A lot of people had witnessed the actual accident of the duck boat colliding with the barge, at that, the emergency personnel and other citizens went right away to the rescue.

According to reports, the duck boat had an engine trouble causing it to float into the Delaware River without power as it collided with a barge. The boat immediately capsized into the together with its passengers. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating whether the crew of the boat had foreseen the problem and immediately alerted a nearby craft about it for early rescue or prevention if the craft used is already known to be not functioning well but still proceeded to the tour. After the incident, operations of the company of all duck boat services that they have nationwide were halted which is the only sensible action to take after the tragedy. The company should check all the boats they have.

 

To the victims, We remember you.

The survivors where of course were in a state of shock after that one fine day turned into a sudden hell for them that even took young lives. In this blog, it is our aim to commemorate them and to let everyone know that this should have never happened to them. But anyway, life can be unfortunate sometimes and this serves as a reminder that life is indeed too short. To Dora Schwendtner, 16 and Szabolcs Prem, 20 and to the other survivors who feared for their lives, you are in our prayers and we wish that this tragedy didn’t happen at all.

 

Dora Schwendtner, 16

Dora is remembered by her peers for her boundless vitality and idealism despite her age. She is an only child dearly loved by her family from Mosonmagyarovar in northwestern Hungary. She was a student and a nice kid with a bright personality.

 

Szabolcs Prem, 20

His friends and family affectionately calls him Szeb. He was a young man with a happy and bright personality, full of life and vigor. He excelled well in school and is a hardworking student. He was a gifted student and attended the prestigious Lajos Kossuth Secondary School in Mosonmagyarovar.


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The Aftermath: the Duck Boat Tragedy

To many, these duckboats were known to as a very enjoyable amphibian ride and a perfect way to tour around the city. However, after the incident that happened in 2011, when the once happy boat took young lives due to a collision accident, the excitement that the people feel was replaced with fear of having to repeat that accident again.

Among the few questions asked during the investigation of the National Transportation Safety Board is whether the crew ever noticed first hand that there is something wrong with the boat and if they had alerted any nearby craft about it. There should also be an active watch at that time or maybe the view was blocked by the barge.

The tragic duck-boat accident should really prompt officials to impose changes especially in the safety guidelines for these type of craft. Duck boats which can both travel on land and on are required to carry life vest that is supposedly worn when traveling in . However, the rule regarding that isn’t much followed or strictly imposed. Children riding these amphibious craft do not need to wear the vests since according to a Pennsylvania rule, children 12 and under are required to wear life jackets only to recreational boats and not in commercial one. With this rule not really stating that everyone should wear life jackets before traveling with these boats in , the risk for threat when accident happens is definitely high, thus, the rule needs to be revised.

It should be in the protocol that the government should conduct inspection to the units prior to allowing them to be used for business. It is worth examining these small tour boats whether they are safe for ride for the tourist since Delaware is surrounded by other massive vessels nearby.

Ride the Duck have been in business since 2003 and accidents are rare. However after that tragedy in 2010, officials are compelled to do revisions on the rule they have for safety precautions to avoid such tragedy to happen again.

In 2012 a settlement of $17 million was reached. As compensation to the victims of the tragedy, the families of the two Hungarian students who died that day, Dora Schwendter and Szabolcs Prem, were granted $7.5 million each. The other victims involved where also compensated and will split $2 million.

In the present, the Ride the Duck company decided to close their operation due to the huge spike in insurance costs. The tour company was also been under fire since the tragedy in 2010. Slowly the company needed to plug off their operations.

As a result of deep investigation and through experience regarding the safety of duck boats, it was determined that these vehicles are not safe but flawed and are considered death traps of the . The vehicle’s canopy design seemed unsafe according to officials and on land they do not give a peripheral vision of whoever operates it.


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