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Could the Duck Boat Incident Have Been Prevented?


water cooler                logoThe Ride the Ducks Tours is a right of passage for many out-of-towners who tour Philadelphia.  If you're down along South and Front in Philly you'll often see the Duck Boat drives by every few minutes as they make their voyage through Old City and plunge into the Delaware River. 

Yesterday, things took a tragic turn in the intense heat when a Duck Boat carrying 37 passengers malfunctioned once it went into the Delaware River.  The engine apparently over-heated and caught fire.  The duck boat stalled and a barge being pulled by a tug boat crashed into it. Sadly, two people are still missing.  Both are Hungarian exchange students-one a 16-year-old female and the other a 20-year-old male.

During the broadcast on NBC 10 yesterday a woman called in and said she was recently on a ride in which the duck boat malfunctioned. 

Last night NBC 10 played the interview with Gerri Sullivan, who explained the ordeal in great detail. They actually had to send out a replacement boat. 

This morning on 93.3 WMMR's Preston and Steve Show, co-host Preston Elliot stated that he was on a duck boat ride in which there were mechanical problems.

This is not to say that the boat which malfunctioned yesterday was one of these boats, but it's apparent that this isn't the first time an issue popped up on the Ride the Ducks Tour.

At this point it's too early to tell if this incident could have been prevented.  Not to mention, an unprecedented heat wave swept through the region this week. Temperatures soared to over 100 degrees throughout the area for the second consecutive day.  In Philly it was 103 degrees.

Contact Dennis Bakay at dbakay@philly2philly.com