U.S. Senator McCaskill Introducing Duck Boat Bill

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill wants new restrictions on duck boats like the one that sunk in Missouri this month, killing 17 people.

McCaskill plans to introduce legislation Tuesday that would give the U.S. Coast Guard 180 days to enact new regulations aimed at ensuring the amphibious vehicles stay afloat during flooding. Duck boats then would have two years to comply.

And in the meantime, they would be required to either remove canopies or install ones that allow passengers to escape in case of flooding.

McCaskill is working off of National Transportation Safety Board recommendations spurred by another deadly duck boat accident in Arkansas in 1999. Federal regulators then noted the amphibious vehicles have trouble staying afloat during flooding and overhead canopies can trap passengers if the vehicles sink.

In a speech on the Senate floor last week about the tragedy at Table Rock Lake, McCaskill noted that the full investigation of the incident at Table Rock is expected to take a year or longer, but that Congress shouldn’t wait when there are steps that can be taken now based on past recommendations.  

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