Fatal Accidents Call Safety of Duck Boat Tours into Question

After the fatal duck boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 passengers, the importance of safety on these boats has been at the forefront of conversation. The Missouri accident involved bad weather and inaccessible life jackets. Boston duck boat companies claim that they have changed their safety regulations recently, and that drivers are receiving special safety training in order to prevent a deadly incident from happening.

Safety Procedures to Prevent Duck Boat Accidents

The United States Coast Guard requires duck boat operators to follow strict rules regarding safety for passengers and drivers. These regulations include:

  • All operators must be certified. Operators are also required to hold merchant mariner credentials on board the vessel.
  • Vessels should be inspected annually per federal regulations. U.S. Code 46 CFR Chapter One governs commercial vessels. It’s crucial that operators are aware of the federal laws that regulate their duck boats in case an accident or injury were to ever occur.
  • Every duck boat journey should have a safety announcement. Boat operators should also conduct a safety announcement that points out the locations of emergency exits, where life jackets can be found and how to put one on.
  • Always abide to the boat’s weight limit. During inspections, a U.S. Coast Guard officer determines how many people can be allowed on board in relation to the boat’s weight. These factors include the total weight of passengers, load and crew, stability restrictions and any other legal requirements of the vessel.
  • Life jackets should be plentiful and accessible. An adult life jacket is required for every person on board. Boats should also carry a set of life jackets for children. Jackets cannot be in a box or safe that is locked, and differentiation between child and adult jackets should be easy to determine.

If you have been involved in a duck boat accident due to someone’s negligence, you could possibly be compensated for your injuries. Contact the maritime attorneys at Latti & Anderson LLP today for a free consultation.