McCaskill calls for new, federal safety regulations for duck boats

Kara Marxer
July 25, 2018 - 5:26 am

Claire McCaskill - Getty Images - Win McNamee

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Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill says she will draft safety legislation after the duck boat tragedy on Table Rock Lake last week that resulted in 17 deaths.

"To require that the design issues with these passenger vessels be addressed, and that the boats that are not compliant be taken out of service until they can be compliant," McCaskill said of the purpose of her proposal.

A National Transportation Safety Board study from 20 years ago recommended that duck boat owners remove canopies, which can trap passengers in the event of an emergency. Federal safety officials also said the vessels need to have a source of reserve buoyancy in case they begin to take on water. Those recommendations were never codified into legal regulations.

"If they can't do the buoyancy in a really timely basis, at a minimum remove the canopies if they're going on the water so there is an opportunity for people to escape what is a sinking coffin," McCaskill said.

McCaskill said she does not want to wait another year to enact new safety measures.

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