Washington – In a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday about last week’s tragedy at Table Rock Lake, U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill announced she will introduce legislation requiring past recommendations, made by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to increase safety of amphibious vehicles like duck boats to be put into law, helping to improve the safety of passengers.
“We’ve had more than 40 deaths associated with duck boats since 1999, yet there has been little done to address the inherent dangers of these amphibious vehicles,” McCaskill said. “The NTSB recommendations following the 1999 incident in Arkansas were pretty straightforward, but unfortunately nothing happened. So I’m in the early stages of drafting legislation, with input from NTSB and the Coast Guard, to require that the design issues with amphibious passenger vessels be addressed—and that boats that are not compliant be taken out of service until they can be compliant. These recommendations are reasonable and commonsense.”
McCaskill noted the full investigation of the incident at Table Rock is expected to take a year or longer, but Congress shouldn’t wait when there are steps that can be taken now based on past recommendations. McCaskill intends to introduce a legislation that would put into law, the recommendations made following a 1999 accident in Arkansas in which 13 people died when a duck boat sunk.
Those recommendations included requiring amphibious vehicles to be equipped to stay afloat in the event of flooding, and additional interim measures such as removal of canopies and increased inspections until all vessels are upgraded.
Last week in Branson, McCaskill met personally with members of the Missouri Highway Patrol, the U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board, and those assisting in the search and rescue and family assistance.
Click HERE to watch McCaskill's full floor speech.