Duck Boat Accident Update July 8: Two Still Missing in River
After the Duck Boat Accident on Wednesday, Two People Are Still Missing and a Duck Boat Company Has Suspended Operations Nationwide After Incident
Two Hungarian tourists are still missing after a 'Ride the Duck' tourist boat was involved in an accident on the Delaware River on July 7. The boat was struck by a barge on the river, causing an engine fire and then caused the boat to overturn, and most of the passengers had to jump in to the water to escape. Everyone has been rescued with minor injuries, but a 16-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man are still missing.
As each hour passes, hope is fading that they will be found alive.
Diver Lt. Andrew Napoli spoke to the media about how the Delaware River is so murky divers cannot see anything. The current is also so strong that it is dangerous to go down to where the Duck Boat is resting on the bottom of the river.
"There could be bodies inside. We're not sure. If it went down with bodies inside, those bodies could very well have been washed out of the vessel," said Napoli.
NBC Philadelphia reports that rescue crews will continue to search for people on Thursday.
When the boat was first struck, several Navy SEALs who were visiting the area rushed to the scene and Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner William Blackburn says the immediate response from everyone was amazing.
"We had a Philadelphia police officer actually jump in the water – he was in full gear – to stay with people until they could be rescued," said Blackburn.
In total, eleven passengers had to be taken to hospital and two were admitted, one suffering from shock and one with a broken jaw. It is not a requirement of passengers to wear life vests while on board the Duck Boats, although everyone has to have one available and most passengers were wearing them anyway.
The two still missing are part of a larger group of tourists from Hungary, who are visiting as part of a missionary exchange program with the Marshallton United Methodist Church in West Chester.
Ride the Ducks of Norcross Suspends Operations Nationwide
Another company that operates 'Ride the Ducks' tourist boats based out of Georgia has suspended their operations nationwide after the accident in Philadelphia. Ride the Ducks of Norcross operates tours in San Francisco, Altanta, Newport, Branson and Seattle.