The US Coast Guard released the Certificate of Inspection (COI) for the ‘Stretch Duck 07’, the amphibious tour boat that sunk in Table Rock Lake, Missouri on July 2018 with the loss of 17 lives.
The COI reports operational limitations which may have been exceeded while the voyage took place. The limitation included limits on permissible weather and surface conditions.
It also indicates that the boat’s stability letter was issued on March 2009, and its last “drydock” was carried out in January 2017. Its operations were to occur in Table Rock Lake and nearby Lake Taneycomo, and it was not permitted to operate on the water “when winds exceed thirty-five (35) miles per hour, and/or the wave height exceeds two (2) feet”.
In addition, the US Coast Guard established a Marine Board of Investigation (MBI) after the sinking of the Stretch Duck 07 boat in Branson, Missouri on July 19. An MBI is USCG’s highest level of investigation, and it was last used for the ‘El Faro’ and the disappearance of the fishing vessel ‘Destination.’
USCG also released a guidance to ensure safe operations for amphibious passenger vessels. This includes the following:
– Review the routes and conditions listed on the vessel’s Certificate of Inspection (COI). Ensure crews are familiar with and clearly aware of their obligations. Additionally, ensure everyone is aware of all operational limitations of each vessel.
– Review the company’s operations manual recommended by Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) No. 1-01. If there is currently no operations manual, it is highly recommended that one be developed. Additionally, owners and operators may wish to incorporate programs and procedures characteristic of a Safety Management System to effectively mitigate risk and establish a culture of continuous improvement.
– Conduct crew training and drills in accordance with the vessel’s Emergency Response Plans with a specific focus on: crew duties and responsibilities, inclement weather monitoring and response, flooding, methods and locations for beaching, and vessel evacuations.
– Take a proactive approach to vessel oversight to include frequent communications with the master for hazard monitoring, to include changes in weather conditions.
Read the COI: USCG-Stretch-Duck-07-Certificate-of-Inspection