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Duck-Boat Tragedy Video: Trip Went From Calm to Frantic

NTSB releases a preliminary timeline of what happened
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2018 10:00 AM CDT
In this July 9, 2010, file photo, a duck boat craft is salvaged from the Delaware River in Philadelphia.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

(Newser) – Now, the video. Federal officials have reviewed footage from the sunken Missouri duck boat to see how events unfolded and compare the launch time to severe-weather warnings for the area, the Kansas City Star reports. Per the National Transportation Safety Board, the trip went from leisurely to frantic within minutes during the July 19 outing that took 17 lives on Table Rock Lake. At 6:56pm, children were still allowed to sit in the driver's seat; by 7:03pm, the captain was navigating whitecaps and making a hand-held radio call that's inaudible on video. At 7:05pm, the bilge alarm was sounding to indicate water being pumped from the boat. With water occasionally splashing into the passenger compartment, the video comes to an end before 7:09pm.

As survivors have said, Ride The Ducks likely knew the forecast because the company altered its 70-minute itinerary to see the water first. That jibes with the video, which shows an individual boarding briefly at 6:28pm to announce they would start on the water. At 6:29pm, the captain said something about checking the weather radar before leaving. The National Weather Service issued its severe thunderstorm warning at 6:32pm, and the boat launched on calm waters at 6:55pm. The NTSB says its review is just preliminary, per Fox4KC, and it won't release the video for now. "It's still an ongoing investigation at this time," says a spokesman. (See an eyewitness video at the Star or how one family's survival "defies probability.")

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