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    HomeUnited StatesU.S Coast GuardCoast Guard Issues New Rules for Repurposed WWII-Era Duck Boats Aimed to...

    Coast Guard Issues New Rules for Repurposed WWII-Era Duck Boats Aimed to Improve Safety

    Coast Guard Issues New Rules for Repurposed WWII-Era Duck Boats Aimed to Improve Safety

    Five years after 17 people died when a duck boat sank on a Missouri lake, the U.S. Coast Guard has issued rules for the amphibious World War II vessels retrofitted for tourist excursions.

    But the new rules have limited impact: Only 16 applicable vessels are still in use.

    The interim rules posted Monday require removal of window coverings and canopies, or installation of a canopy that doesn't keep passengers from escaping if the boat floods or sinks. The Missouri vessel, and an Arkansas duck boat that sank in 1999, killing 13 people, had overhead roofs or canopies that the National Transportation Safety Board warned could greatly increase the risk of passengers becoming trapped and drowning.

    The new rules also include requirements for passengers to wear personal flotation devices, requirements for alarms and pumps, and they strengthen inspection regulations.

    The rules apply only to repurposed World War II-era vessels now used for land-and-water tours — not newer vehicles built specifically for tourist trips. The 16 older vessels in use are operated by three companies, the rules document states. The Coast Guard didn't say where those boats are, but 10 are part of one Arkansas fleet.

    Duck boats have been involved in more than 40 fatal accidents since 1999. Among their critics is Jim Hall, a former NTSB chairman. He said the new set of rules is a good step, but long overdue.

    “The significance of it,…

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