The inspector says he tried to warn Missouri duck boat company
The inspector says that he tried to ward duck boat company about design flaws for up to 17 people were killed in Missouri.
BRANSON, missouri. – The duck boat that sank in the Missouri lake last week, 17 dead people and the wounding of several others, was built by a self-taught entrepreneur who has little to no technical training, according to new court documents.
Designer Robert McDowell, the former owner of Ride The Ducks is a self-taught entrepreneur who grew up in the tourist town of Branson.
He earned money by changing from and the production of dozens of amphibious vehicles, though he lacked the proper technical skills to do this, according to his own testimony.
In a deposition last year in a separate issue, McDowell said he taught himself how to build and maintain a fleet of duck boats, despite the lack of a training or certification in mechanics.
McDowell managed to Ride The Ducks boat business into a profitable before selling it in 2004.
Since then, Ride The Ducks, by means of the various corporate iterations, is linked to a number of high-profile accidents, including last week’s horrific one that destroyed a whole community. Nine of the 17 people killed last Thursday were members of the same family from Indiana.
On Monday, salvage crews recovered from the Ride The Ducks boat of 80 feet of murky water in the Table Rock Lake, less than 10 miles from Branson.
As the ship broke the surface, mid-morning, two small American flag remained visible on the front. Unused orange life jackets dangled from the frame of the boat as a ghostly reminder of the chain of events that occurred less than a week ago.
After pulling the duck boat out of the water, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board, took the authority of the.
It was not clear how long the investigation will take, but similar projects have taken up to a year.
In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, mechanical inspector Steven Paul said he warned Ripley Entertainment, the company that operates Ride The Ducks in Missouri, about a massive design flaws and dangerous safety almost a year before Thursday’s tragic accident.
Paul, who served in the U.S. Army for six years as a diesel mechanic for the opening of Test Drive Technologies in 2009, told Fox he was hired by Ripley last year to inspect the 24 duck boats. The Florida-based company was interested in buying the company and wanted a review.
“My inspection was so they had the opportunity to know what they are buying before the purchase is final,” Paul said.
Paul said he sent the company a “two – to three-page fleet inspection report” as well as 24 checklist reports, and “as many as 20 pictures for each duck,” he inspected in August 2017. In the report, he warned that the boats motors — and pumps for removing water from their hulls — might fail in bad weather. In rough conditions, water in the exhaust system, and then in the engine, cutting it off. With the engine off, the pump for removing water from the hull would not work.
The duck boat capsized and with 31 people on board when it sank in 40 feet of water. The amphibious ship is destroyed during a fast-moving summer storm that in the near-hurricane gusts of wind, that ripples to big waves.
Mobile phone video from a witness showed the duck boat taking on water and struggling to move for the sink, making it one of the most deadly duck boat accident in AMERICAN history.