Duck Boat Crash Lawsuits being Handed.

Josh Calloni, Reporter

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Over the summer, on July 19, near Branson, a duck boat sank on Table Rock Lake, killing 17 people aboard. Since then, politicians have been working to develop a way to keep this issue from occuring again.

The boat that had sank was one of many boats on the water that day. The boats are not supposed to go out on the water if a storm is impending, however, in this case, something was different. When the boat had departed, no storms were threatening. However, once the boat had reached the water, and pop up storm was formed, and hit the boat hard. The boat continued onto the water, clearly struggling, as seen in witness videos. Finally, at roughly 7 pm, the boat sank, killing 17 of the 31 people on board, and injuring an additional seven. The ages of those victims ranged from 1 to 70, and nine of the victims came from one Indiana family.

“The duck boat incident is very sad, however, they should not all be banned. One incident should not dictate all of the boats. I’m glad however, they are trying to get relief for the families that lost love ones” sophomore Sean Yates said.

This would not be the only time an incident like this happened. Most notably in 1999, in Hot Spring, Arkansas, an incident that saw 13 killed. Other smaller, less notable incidents have happened over time, but the one in Branson was the most deadly by far, second being the Hot Spring incident. The boat used was popularized in the Korean War, as it helped drive on land and water, but has now been used more recreationally, as so in the incident.

“The duck boat incident should be the final straw for this. The boats are very unsafe and should not have another opportunity to kill someone,” senior Thomas Randazzo said.

The lawsuits coming against the duck boat company vary. The biggest is a $100 million lawsuit by the Indiana family that lost 9 for going against the weather while it clearly said not to. It is also not known, however, if the two crew members on board knew about the weather or took action once the boat began to sink. Another lawsuit is from a woman who lost her two children and husband also, Tia Coleman. Other lawsuits have been filed. So far, Ripley, the owner of the Branson duck boats, and five different companies have been handed down. The captain of the boat was killed in the sinking.

Lawsuits and new laws are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.