Boston Duck Tours issues statement after Missouri tragedy

The local duck boat operator is reassuring customers that they take extreme weather seriously.

BOSTON, MA - 3/23/2018:The Duck Tour boats are back in Boston to start the season.    (David L Ryan/Globe Staff ) SECTION: METRO TOPIC stand alone photo
Boston Duck Tour boats on the streets of Boston in March. –David L. Ryan / The Boston Globe

Boston Duck Tours is reminding customers of the company’s safety precautions following the tragic duck boat accident Thursday in Missouri.

Seventeen people were killed after a duck boat with tourists in Branson, Missouri, capsized in Table Rock Lake, according to local officials. Investigators blamed stormy weather for accident, with reported winds in the area of up 65 miles per hour.

“The incident is currently under investigation, so it would not be prudent for us to comment or speculate as to what may have caused the incident, but extreme weather seems to have been a major factor,” Bob Schwartz, the director of marketing and sales for Boston Duck Tours, said in a statement Friday.

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According to Schwartz, Boston Duck Tours monitors the weather conditions from its three departure locations — the Museum of Science, the New England Aquarium, and the Prudential Center — and does not allow its amphibious vehicles, which tour the Charles River, to go in the water if there’s lightning, winds over 25 knots (roughly 29 miles per hour), or waves over one foot.

Read his full statement below:

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of all those involved in yesterday’s tragedy in Branson, MO.  The incident is currently under investigation, so it would not be prudent for us to comment or speculate as to what may have caused the incident, but extreme weather seems to have been a major factor.

We continuously monitor the weather conditions from our three locations.  We do not allow our DUCKs to go into the Charles River if there is lightning in the area or if conditions are forecasted to exceed our operating parameters set by the US Coast Guard.  Our Certificates of Inspection (COI), issued [by] the U.S. Coast Guard, state we may not operate if winds are over 25 knots or waves over one foot.

At Boston Duck Tours the safety of our guests and our employees is our number one priority and will continue to work closely with our partners at the US Coast Guard, Department of Public Utilities, Boston Hackney Division and Department of Transportation to ensure we maintain these safety standards.

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