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 water are required to carry life vest that is supposedly worn when traveling in water. 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 water, 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 water. The vehicle’s canopy design seemed unsafe according to officials and on land they do not give a good peripheral vision of whoever operates it.