Thursday’s tragic duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri, which killed 17 people and injured several more, has becoming more troubling since according to sources, the accident could have been prevented if precautions had been followed a year earlier.
According to Fox News, a mechanical inspector had warned the company operating the duck boat about massive design flaws that could lead to disastrous results.
Steven Paul, who inspected the boat and issued the warning, served in the U.S. Army for six years as a diesel mechanic before he opened Test Drive Technologies in 2009. Ripley Entertainment hired him to inspect the 24 boats, since they were considering buying them and wanted an assessment.
"My inspection was so they had the opportunity to know what they were buying before the sale was final," Paul said.
The report, written in August 2017, was concerning. It cautioned that the boats’ engines, and the pumps that remove water from the hulls, might fail in rough weather. Under such circumstances, water could get into the exhaust system.
If that happened, the water would pour into the motor, cutting it off. That would force its pump for removing the water from the hull to cease to operate.
Paul, after filing his report, went home and told his family that they “would not be riding the ducks” anymore.
The duck boat that capsized Thursday on Table Rock Lake had 31 people board when it sank in 40-foot waters. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning that specifically mentioned Table Rock Lake at 6:32 p.m. The accident happened just after 7 p.m.
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