Captain of Deadly Missouri Duck Boat Charged in Federal Court – gCaptain

You can never be too safe on the water!!! It all looks like fun on a boat from the outside. People have no idea how much time during those 5,418 miles we spent watching conditions, the current (the rivers can frequently have 3-6 knot currents, which is a whole different world than navigating on any Lake), the tides which were as much as 8-10 feet up and down every 12 hours (even at mid tide we still grounded the boat once), the wind, the weather, the wave height (like crossing the gulf in 4-6 ft waves) the eddy swirls (there was one that had we not both been 100% on task that could have spun the boat around), the wing dams sticking out from the shore, the 52 locks (one that we almost just went over the dam on accident, it was getting late, we were tired, and the damn gates were down, other boats were going over but it required a certain horsepower) the lock master hailed us and asked us if we were going to just plow over the damn without his permission (we backed off and went through the lock), the fuel status and if we could make it to the next port (by dipping the tanks because old boats don't have fuel guages), and if the next port even has gas since we didn't have diesel engines, where the next marina was that had open slips for overnight accommodations (not like when we ended up in Cedar Key at dark, after an unexpected delay in Suwanee, to learn that they do not have ANY docks for big boats so we had to overnight on anchor taking turns staying awake on anchor watch with a storm coming), and how many times we ended up with 6 inches (sometimes even -6 inches) of water under the boat even with thousands of dollars of electronics and all the books, going through places where the cut was barely wider than the boat (the Keys) and through a place called "Hells Gate" (Georgia), we dogged huge logs, we lost engines and made repairs on the move, I lost track of how many times we lost the generator, we got ropes and crab pot balls stuck in the propellers (in the Keys with inches of water under the boat), I bet we dogged 1,000 crap pot balls in the navigational channels, ducking in and out of oceanside channels (you get too much of a following sea – a wave pushing you – you can get sideways pretty easy, you get sideways you can roll over and capsize in a second), I could go on, it's all documented on the blog www.lifeofacaptain.com … But we did it in a 58-year-old wooden Chris Craft that could have sprung a plank at any time – thankfully she got regular maintenance and hauled out multiple times during the trip and is hauled out every winter for maintenance all her life (#MissMarianne didn't miss a beat, like she'd been waiting for this all her life). . So glad it was with a very experienced ex Tow Boat US boat captain Albert Bartkus and on a boat that had every modern safety feature around (bottom scanning sonar, FLIR to find people in the water, auto inflate life raft, an EPIRB, etc … we even had a defibrillator on board. You can NEVER bee too safe!!!

Captain of Deadly Missouri Duck Boat Charged in Federal Court – gCaptain

You can never be too safe on the water!!! It all looks like fun on a boat from the outside. People have no idea how…

Posted by Cindy Chebultz on Monday, November 12, 2018

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16 replies
  1. Craig Case
    Craig Case says:

    Hey do you remember before you left I said “when you are done, you’ll feel like you are real sailors”?. It’s a TON of hands-in experience. I’ve learned every time I made the trip.

  2. Craig Case
    Craig Case says:

    The second to last trip I made south on a 1960 45’ Connie from Pier 11 ended 70 miles from Tarpon Springs. The last 70 miles were in a USCG HH-60 Jayhawk I’m not joking. Poor old girl didn’t make it.

  3. Stuart Miller
    Stuart Miller says:

    If he’d just put the wind to his back and stayed with the waves until he could beach it and evaluate the vessel it might not have happened the way it did. No guarantee though.

    All passengers should have life vests on at all times. If there are small children and no PFD for them, then no ride.

    Captains fault, or owners?

  4. Bianca
    Bianca says:

    PFD on an enclosed vessel? When you are inside a vessel and it sinks you are less likely to survive if you have a PDF on, as you will be pushed up by the PDF buoyancy and cannot get out. This is the regulation here in Canada when you are inside a enclosed cabin like on a ferry you should store the PDFs for all passengers outside. The Captain is responsible, he should have pointed out to the company that something is not safe, refuse to do it.

  5. Ryan Eaton
    Ryan Eaton says:

    Few years back one of these duck boats lost power in the shipping channel due to an engine fire in the Delaware river off penns landing in Philadelphia. Duck boat ended up colliding with a barge, and capsizing causing 2 people to drown. These things are a death trap.

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