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Duck Boat Accident Raises Questions


The nation was shocked to hear that 17 tourists were killed when a Missouri duck boat capsized and sunk in July 2018. Who could have imagined such a horrendous accident? Surely, these amphibious vessels are safe, right? Certainly, there are precautions taken when stormy weather is on the horizon. Such an accident is a fluke—and could never occur here in Florida…or could it? Whether it is a duck boat, or any other tour service, if you or a loved one is injured or dies while vacationing, a serious, competent local attorney can help you in the aftermath.

What is a Duck Boat?

A duck boat is a vehicle that can be both driven on land, and piloted across water. They were originally designed as World War II vehicles in order to transport supplies from shore to ship. Nowadays, of course, they are popular tourist vehicles in many states and countries worldwide.  Unfortunately, they have been involved in a number of accidents, both on the road and in in the water.

Duck Boat Incidents Across the Nation

The fact of the matter is, the tragedy in Missouri was not an isolated event. These vessels have been at the center of a number of serious accidents across the country:

  • A barge rammed into an amphibious vessel that had stalled due to mechanical difficulties in Philadelphia. The barge, which was transporting sludge, ran into the duck boat, dumping 37 riders into the water. Two of those individuals drowned.
  • Thirteen people lost their lives when a duck boat sank in Arkansas in 1999 on Lake Hamilton;
  • When a duck boat ran over a motorcyclist in Seattle, the man’s leg, arm and pelvis were all smashed after he was dragged beneath the vehicle for a full block
  • In a separate Seattle duck boat incident, 69 people were injured and 5 died when the amphibious vessel crashed into a bus full of passengers
  • In Boston, a duck boat collided with a scooter, killing one woman and injuring a man.

Tips for Surviving an Underwater Duck Boat Accident 

If you decide to enjoy a duck boat tour, there are several tips that could save your life in the event of an accident on the water:

  • Make a mental note of the nearest exits;
  • During the ride, keep one hand on the windowsill. If the boat capsizes, visibility will be severely limited underwater, so orienting yourself by having a hand placed on the window will help you get your bearings;
  • Make a good decision about wearing a life vest. Some experts say the vests could be a liability in a duck boat with a roof, because it will force you up and hamper your efforts to get out. However, putting a life vest on once you escape the boat will help you survive in deep or rough waters;
  • Keep your wits about you and focus on getting to fresh air. If you panic, you will be less likely to focus on the exits and maneuver your way to safety.

Your Legal Advocate

Following an accident on a duck boat, or anywhere else, for that matter, if serious consequences result, you need robust legal assistance. For a private consultation about your accident, contact the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton in Daytona & Ormond Beach today.