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Missouri’s Hawley says U.S. Senate has not acted on duck boat legislation

Missouri’s junior senator is calling on his U.S. Senate colleagues on Capitol Hill to approve his legislation aimed at preventing a repeat of the deadly 2018 duck boat tragedy on southwest Missouri’s Table Rock Lake.

Missouri State Highway Patrol crews assist the U.S. Coast Guard during the duck boat recovery efforts on July 23, 2018. Seventeen people were killed in the incident, including nine from one family. The victims drowned when the vessel sank quickly, during a storm. The second anniversary of the tragedy was last week.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley (R) says the Senate has not acted on his bill.

“It is more vital today than ever. It would help prevent exactly the kind of tragedy that we saw on Table Rock Lake,” Hawley says.

Hawley’s legislation would require amphibious passenger vessels to be equipped to stay afloat, in the event of flooding. The legislation would also require duck boats to remove canopies, and would require additional life preservers.

Hawley describes the legislation as tough and important.

“It would impose new security requirements on every single duck boat in our state and nationally. It would require new inspections, it would require new reporting efforts and standards, and put those in place,” says Hawley.

He says the tragedy never should have happened, because the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) made several recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard after a similar 1999 tragedy in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

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