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US Duck boat probe headed to feds; Coast Guard points to possible criminal activity

23:20  21 august  2018
23:20  21 august  2018 Source:   msn.com

Duck boat deaths: Tia Coleman wants 'death trap' duck boats banned

  Duck boat deaths: Tia Coleman wants 'death trap' duck boats banned The Indiana woman who lost nine members of her family in a duck boat sinking last month in Missouri wants the amphibious vehicles banned. "Duck boats are death traps, nobody else should have to go through that," said Tia Coleman, who survived the accident in Table Rock Lake near Branson. © Leeta Bigbee Tia Coleman and 10 of her relatives got on a duck boat to take a tour of Table Rock Lake during their family vacation. Of those relatives, only she and her nephew survived when the boat sank. Back, left to right: Tia Coleman, holding her 1-year-old Arya, Ray Coleman, Glenn Coleman (husband), Horace Coleman.

The U.S. Coast Guard has referred the July 19 sinking of a Branson duck boat to federal investigators to pursue a possible criminal case. Miller would not elaborate on what that potential criminal activity may be. She did say that the Marine Board of Investigation and the Coast Guard

The federal investigation is in addition to a separate criminal probe by the Missouri attorney The U.S. Coast Guard has referred the July 19 sinking of a Branson duck boat to federal investigators to Miller would not elaborate on what that potential criminal activity may be. She did say that the

a group of people on a boat: The buck boat is hauled out of the water on Monday, July 23, 2018, at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo.© J.B. Forbes/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS The buck boat is hauled out of the water on Monday, July 23, 2018, at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The U.S. Coast Guard has referred the July 19 sinking of a Branson duck boat to federal investigators to pursue a possible criminal case.

A spokeswoman for the Coast Guard confirmed that her agency referred the case Aug. 13 to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri. That office, based in Kansas City, includes the Table Rock Lake area where the boat sank, killing 17.

Man who tried to save passengers of sunken duck boat says he's suffered, files suit

  Man who tried to save passengers of sunken duck boat says he's suffered, files suit KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man who jumped into Table Rock Lake to help passengers after a tour boat sank says he has suffered physically and emotionally and is suing the owner and captain of the Ride the Ducks vessel. Gregory Harris filed the suit earlier this week in Taney County, saying he now has post-traumatic stress from what he experienced the evening of July 19. He says he also hurt himself physically and had to quit his job on the Showboat Branson Belle after he tried to save people in the water on July 19.Harris, who was working on the Belle cruise ship that night, said he pulled several people from the lake, many of whom were already deceased or later died.

Duck boat probe headed to feds . Coast Guard points to possible criminal activity . August 21, 2018 12:14 PM.

RELATED Coast Guard refers Missouri ' duck boat ' for possible criminal probe . The captain then demonstrated the use of a life jacket and pointed out the location of the life rings." The boat 's certificate of inspection, released by the U.S. Coast Guard , indicated it wasn't supposed to operate in

"During the course of the initial part of our investigation, the fact finding part, we identified stuff that could point to some sort of criminal activity," said Alana Miller, a Coast Guard spokeswoman. "And we are not in the business of criminal investigations."

Miller would not elaborate on what that potential criminal activity may be. She did say that the Marine Board of Investigation and the Coast Guard Investigative Service division consulted with its legal department before the case was referred.

Don Ledford, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office, declined comment Tuesday.

"What I can say is that the Department of Justice policy is that we don't comment on investigations," Ledford said. "We don't even confirm or deny the existence of an investigation."

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The Coast Guard probe and public hearings will take years before conclusions and safety recommendations are reached. "That is the highest-level investigation that the Coast Guard has," Miller said Tuesday. If the Coast Guard found evidence of criminal activity , it would refer the matter

Coast Guard found 'misconduct' in initial review of Branson duck boat captain, feds say. Federal prosecutors are trying to delay the discovery process in Federal prosecutors say they are worried the subjects of their criminal investigation will "abuse the mechanisms of civil discovery to circumvent the

The federal investigation is in addition to a separate criminal probe by the Missouri attorney general.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley's office confirmed to the Kansas City Star on July 30 that it had opened a criminal investigation to explore the possibility of violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.

The act forbids fraud and deception in the sale of goods and services.

The first 911 call about the vessel, Stretch Duck 07, came at 7:09 p.m., 14 minutes after the boat entered the water on July 19.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning at 6:32 p.m., specifically naming Table Rock Lake. The warning said winds in excess of 60 mph were possible. In reality, winds on the lake reached 73 mph with waves more than 3 feet.

According to a recent report by the National Transportation Safety Board, the captain and driver were on board at 6:28 that evening when someone stepped onto the back of the boat and told the crew to take the water portion of the tour first. It isn't known who that person is.

Duck boat tragedy turned over to federal prosecutors

  Duck boat tragedy turned over to federal prosecutors The U.S. Coast Guard has handed over an investigation into the fatal sinking of a Missouri duck boat last month to federal prosecutors, officials said Tuesday. The case was referred to the U.S. attorney’s office in Kansas City on Aug. 13 “to consider a potential criminal investigation and federal prosecution,” the Kansas City Star reported, citing a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office.The July 19 tragedy occurred at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo., when an amphibious “duck boat” capsized and sank amid strong winds. Of the 31 people aboard the boat, 17 drowned, including five children.

Duck boat investigation will review whether operator heeded Coast Guard rules. The investigation into the sinking of a sightseeing boat that claimed 17 lives will look at whether operators violated Coast Guard rules by venturing onto a Missouri lake as thunderstorms rolled in, a Coast Guard official said

Feds looking into fatal July 19 duck boat accident that killed 17 in Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo. “I can confirm that the Coast Guard referred this matter to the U.S. Attorney’s Office … to consider a potential criminal investigation and federal prosecution,” said Ledford.

Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who is representing some plaintiffs in civil litigation against Ripley's Entertainment, the owner of Ride the Ducks in Branson, said he was not surprised to learn of a criminal investigation.

"The criminal law regarding operations of vessels makes someone responsible if they are neglectful or negligent," Mongeluzzi told The Star. "We have already pleaded in our complaints that Ripley's, through their employees and officers, were negligent.

"We fully support a criminal investigation, if one is happening, and believe that the people who made the decisions that cost 17 lives should be held accountable, both civilly and criminally."

In 2010, a tugboat was towing a barge that crashed into a duck boat on the Delaware River in Philadelphia, killing two Hungarian tourists who were on the duck boat and injuring others.

The pilot of the tugboat, Matthew Devlin, was sentenced to a year in prison. He was accused of being distracted while on the phone when the collision happened.

Several lawsuits have been filed in federal and state courts, two on behalf of passengers who died, and one on behalf of a survivor. Another was filed last week by a man who jumped in the lake to try to help pull passengers to safety.

Fisherman Swam 7 Hours To Stay Alive After Falling Off Boat

  Fisherman Swam 7 Hours To Stay Alive After Falling Off Boat Sea creatures were pricking him all over his body but he kept swimming in a desperate attempt to save himself. "Nagarajan told me that some of the boats returned after one-and-a-half hours with a hope to find him. However, the water currents along the west were strong that he had swum way farther than they could imagine," Nagarajan's boss Vasanth S Salian said, local daily The Times Of India reported.After a few more hours, he was spotted and rescued by the crew of a merchant vessel who contacted the New Mangalore Port authority.

Coast Guard Lt. Tasha Sadowicz of the agency's St. Louis office said the boat that capsized and sank was known as "Stretch Duck 07." Sadowicz did not have information on Stretch Duck 07's limits but said they will be a focal point of the investigation. Some witnesses have said the lake was calm and

The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday it has opened a high-level probe into the tragedy. A lawsuit seeking 0 million in damages was filed Sunday against The U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that it has launched an investigation into the duck - boat tragedy that killed 17 people, including nine

It isn't known what the focus of the criminal investigation is, but there is a federal law regarding negligence or misconduct when operating a vessel.

According to that law: "Every captain, engineer, pilot, or other person employed on any steamboat or vessel, by whose misconduct, negligence, or inattention to his duties on such vessel the life of any person is destroyed ... shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both."

Tia Coleman, one of 14 who survived the July 19 sinking, has spoken out about the safety of duck boats. She and others have called for a ban on the boats unless safety improvements are implemented. She and her nephew were the only two in their family of 11 to survive the tragedy.

Coleman spoke publicly last week about her life since losing her husband and three children.

"I was in bed and I woke up because I heard the bus outside and I almost yelled out, 'You're going to miss the bus,'" Coleman said. "And then I realized, they are not going to get into any more buses."

Visit The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.) at www.kansascity.com

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