Recent Posts

Recent Comments


Cop Land

« | Main | »

Barge, Boat Collide On The Delaware River

By Wyatt Earp | July 8, 2010

Not good. Not good at all.

The accident occurred yesterday afternoon, when a barge plowed into a disabled “Duck boat.” Thankfully, police and fire rescue arrived on the scene quickly. The boat was adrift in the river after a fire. Lovely. It was full of passengers, and many of them had to jump overboard before the collision.

Several dozen passengers were rescued and two teenagers are missing after a barge crashed into a broken down tour boat causing it to overturn in the Delaware River Wednesday afternoon. The U.S. Coast Guard says 35 people were rescued, but a 16-year-old girl and 20-year-old male remain missing.

Nine victims total were treated at area hospitals for minor injuries.

Philadelphia officials say a fire on board the “duck boat” had disabled the vessel in the water. Authorities say 911 calls were made from the boat reporting the fire prior to the accident. The boat was stalled in the river awaiting help from another boat when it was struck.

Excuse me for saying this, but does this story really surprise anyone? These things are relics from World War II, and they are not exactly the picture of safety. I certainly wouldn’t take my children on one. I’m just sayin’.

UPDATE, 7/9/10: The bodies of the 20-year old man and 16-year old girl were recovered from the river this morning. Sad.

Topics: Philly | 11 Comments »

11 Responses to “Barge, Boat Collide On The Delaware River”

  1. Dannytheman Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:17 am

    WELLLLLLL, I think the old land boats are fine. The engines have been retrofitted and upgraded. I’m sure this was a heat related engine fire, probably blew a radiator hose and “fire” was coolant smoking.

    Now as to the collision? I have many more questions. Why didn’t the tug boat captain veer? Radio comms? Channel 13? These huge tugs have radar warning systems.(If set) I will wait to read the SAR report. (SORTI)

    I say all this with my 6 years experience running Search and Rescue with the US Coast Guard.

  2. Mrs. Crankipants Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:10 am

    I heard this story on the news last night, horrible.

    I’ve never done the duck boats either. I didn’t consider the safety angle, the damn noisemakers would drive me insane.

  3. Crazy Politico Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:23 am

    I’ve taken my kids in them bunches if times in the Wisconsin Dells area. DUKW’s are very safe if maintained correctly. Because so many were made during the war there is a huge supply of spare parts for them, and manufacturers that continue to make parts because the things are so popular with tour operators.

  4. MUD Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 10:19 am

    There is a requirement for everyone on such a craft to have a life jacket. Anyone that goes there without one is a fool. Water doesn’t drown people, stupid people drown without lifejackets.

  5. Dannytheman Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 3:39 pm

    There is a requirement for every passenger to have “access” to a life jacket. Only kids have to wear them. During the prep before going in the water the captain advises everyone where the PFDs are.

  6. JCM Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Seattle has a fleet of these Ducks… they have to met all USCG requirements for commercial excursion fleets. Which are more stringent than recreational boats.

    Any boat can have an engine failure, and be in the path of a larger vessel. Your neighbors ski boat isn’t inspected regularly by the USCG, the Ducks used for tours are.

  7. Wyatt Earp Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    Danny – Witnesses said they tried to warn the tug, but if not by radio, it was a useless endeavor.

    Mrs. Crankipants – Yeah, another reason to stay on dry land.

    CP – I still don’t trust them. Especially not in the Delaware.

    MUD – Even experienced swimmers have drowned in the Delaware. The currents are just too rough.

    Danny – I’d probably wear two. I’m too valuable to drown.

    JCM – Not a lot of neighbor’s boats in Philly, so it’s not an issue for me.

  8. RT Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    They have a really good safety record (safer than the roads in the area, that is for sure). The radio communication to the Coast Guard seemed to be messed up, but other boats heard the call out about their status. Wonder why the tugboat pushing the barge didn’t.

    Fortunately, yesterday was an oddly calm day on the Delaware and there were people there to help. The Navy SEALS just happened to be there, too.

    So sad that folks come here for a visit and something as sad and awful as this happens. It was a freak accident and very tragic.

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    RT – If it were a wind-swept rainy day, the ending to this story would be much more tragic.

  10. RT Says:
    July 8th, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    It certainly would be.

  11. Bob G. Says:
    July 9th, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Just my 2 cents, but having the DUKWs on the Delaware is dicey.
    The Delaware is a “tricky beast” as far as rivers go.

    We could EASILY have duck boats on OUR rivers in Fort Wayne…they’re actuually more like over-sized creeks than a REAL river.

    Hell, the Schuykill would be better suited than the “D”, especailly with all the traffic.

    Congrats to the response teams for getting there ASAP.

    Doesn’t anyone on the barges or tugs WATCH where they heck they’re going?

    Don’t tell me Nutter laid off all the RIVER PILOTS.