NTSB addresses safety of 'ducks'

MEMPHIS -- After two days of National Transportation Safety Board hearings here on ways to make World War II vintage "duck" boats safer for touring, the U.S. Coast Guard's Office of Compliance said that it will introduce uniform amphibious boat regulations nationwide in response to complaints from owners and operators that safety standards vary on a regional basis.

The Memphis hearing stemmed from the drowning of 13 passengers last spring when the Miss Majestic, owned by Hot Springs, Ark.-based Land & Lake Tours, sank when a rubber seal dislodged. The boat's owner, no longer in business, was criticized by the Coast Guard for not taking preventative steps that could have avoided loss of life. Meanwhile, various duck tour firms, including Branson (Mo.) Ducks and Wisconsin Ducks, plan to form a national organization to share information.

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