Why is Ride the Ducks allowed to stay in business?
The NTSB and Coast Guard are starting to release more information about the Ride The Ducks vehicle that sank in Missouri last week killing 17 people. Not only does it add to the tragedy, some of this new information is so brazenly obvious that it has me asking again, “How is Ride The Ducks allowed to stay in business anywhere in the United States, including Seattle?”
Let’s start with the unspeakable loss of the Coleman family. They decided to get 11 family members together for their summer trip and meet up in Branson. After their Ride The Ducks nightmare, only Tia Coleman and her 13-year-old nephew, Donovan, survived. Here’s the new information: Tia’s one-year-old child did not have a life vest on. Neither did Donovan or Tia or anyone else on that Ride The Ducks vehicle.
Let me repeat, a one-year-old baby was taken on to a lake with a severe weather warning in effect without wearing a life vest of any kind. As the Duck was capsizing, Tia was heard saying, “Lord, please let me get to my babies.” She did not. The children were not floating on the top of the water because none of them had life vests on.
Ride The Ducks has displayed blatant disregard for even the most basic safety concepts. The people in Missouri were not wearing life vests. The people in the Seattle Aurora bridge accident were not wearing seat belts. We heard accounts of people ping-ponging through the air as the Duck pierced the side of the bus carrying Seattle exchange students killing five and injuring 69 in 2015. Surely I don’t need to point out how basic these concepts are, do I? Seat belts and life vests should be the least we can ask for in terms of safety, right?
Another new detail that has been released is that the tour guide on the Duck in Missouri knew about the severe storm warning. He merely rearranged the sequence of the tour. Going into the water first, instead of after the land portion as was the initial plan. He knew that there was a storm brewing in tornado country, and he still did not have ANYONE on board put on a life vest, including children and the 76-year-old-man that died.
So let me ask again, why is Ride The Ducks allowed to stay in business?
Just to recap, this is a company that has a horrendous track record in basic safety violations that have resulted in numerous fatalities. They have been fined multiple times for ignoring regular maintenance bulletins that have led to the loss of life. They have taken surviving family members to court to skirt liability on legal technicalities, and now we learned they thought it was just fine to take a one-year-old onto a body of water without any safety gear whatsoever.
Hey Seattle City Council, or Mayor Jenny Dukan, or Governor Jay Inslee, how about revoking the business license of this company? How many more people need to die?
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