Report: Duck Boat Operator Knew of ‘Massive Design Flaws’ in 2017

A mechanical inspector told Fox News Sunday he had inspected the duck boat that capsized and killed 17 people in Missouri, and had warned the operator at that time of “massive design flaws” and “dangerous safety issues” with the vessel. After watching the catastrophe unfold on Thursday, the expert said, “My first thought was I was thankful that me and my family weren't on the ducks. My second thought was, ‘Oh man, I probably inspected that boat.’” The inspector claims that he was hired last year to evaluate the boats before they were purchased by Ripley Entertainment, and that he informed the company that the engines and water pumps could fail in bad weather. He further claims that after filing the report, he was so concerned that he told his wife that he would not allow his family on duck boats in the future. An unidentified source with knowledge of the report disputed the inspector’s claim, telling Fox, “there is no documentation and there were no warnings.” Fox also notes that the boat passed inspection in February. Regardless of the boat’s viability, the inspector criticized the company for using it during inclement weather, noting, “there has got to be a disconnect somewhere...they should have erred on the side of caution.”