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.