Ex-NTSB chairman: Duck boats prone to accidents

BRANSON, Mo. – A former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board says duck boats aren’t designed for commercial recreational use.

James Hall said Saturday that the boat’s design makes the World War II-era vessels prone to the kind of accidents that led to the sinking of a duck boat Thursday on a Missouri lake. The sinking killed 17 people .

Hall says the amphibious vessel should be banned from such use. He says he doesn’t believe there’s a way to make the vehicles safe, particularly in bad weather conditions.

He says ducks boats are an amphibious vehicle designed for an assault on beaches.

Most oversight for the vessels is provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, but Hall says the Coast Guard isn’t staffed properly to provide the type of strict oversight necessary to ensure such operations are safe.

Hall was appointed chairman of the NTSB in 1993 by President Bill Clinton. He served as its chairman from 1994 to 2001