NTSB Accident Report: Cell Phone Use Contributed to Fatal Philly Duck Boat Crash

MIAMI, FL—June 23, 2011 Nearly one year after a Ride the Ducks tour boat crashed into a barge on the Delaware River off of Philadelphia, resulting in the deaths of two Hungarian tourists, the National Transportation Safety Board began releasing their investigatory findings into the fatal Duck boat crash. According to information provided by NBC Philadelphia, one key NTSB finding was that prior to the boat collision, as the Duck boat was stalled on the river, the mate who was operating the barge was talking on his cell phone.
On July 7, 2010, a Ride the Ducks tour boat stalled in the water off Penn’s Landing approximately 20 minutes before colliding with a barge. A total of 35 passengers and two crew members were thrown into the shipping channel as a result of the boat wreck. Two Hungarian students identified as 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner and 20-year-old Szabolcs Prem were killed in the Philadelphia Duck boat crash.

Upon conducting a full probe into the Philly Duck boat accident, NTSB investigators concluded that not only did the barge’s first mate fail to appoint another crew member to maintain a lookout for any potential dangers in the water below, he was also on his cell phone handling a family emergency at the time.
NTSB investigators also found that although initial reports suggested the Duck boat stalled as a result of an engine fire that broke out, investigations revealed that no fire was sparked prior to the collision.

Whether an individual is operating a car or operating a boat, handheld devices have been linked to countless accidents around the nation. According to Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website for distracted driving, driver distractions can be considered anything from using a cell phone to changing the radio station or talking to a passenger from behind the wheel.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics suggested about 1 in 5 traffic accidents that occurred during the year 2009 involved distracted driving. Crashes involving distracted drivers resulted in the deaths of 5,474 accident victims and left 448,000 others injured.

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With four decades of experience litigating the multifaceted personal injury and wrongful death claims of boat and cruise line passengers who are hurt or assaulted onboard, the knowledgeable Florida boating accident lawyers of Gerson & Schwartz are dedicated to protecting the rights of these individuals and fighting to provide them with the compensation they deserve. Working closely with the National Center for Victims of Crime, the Miami personal injury attorneys of Gerson & Schwartz, P.A. strive to provide justice to individuals who suffer serious injuries in a wide variety of boating accidents.

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