Connect with us

Politics

Duck Boat Captain Indicted In Missouri Lake Accident That Killed 17

Duck boats sit idle in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks days after the accident in July in Branson, Mo. Kenneth Scott McKee, the captain and operator of a boat that sank on July 19, was charged on Thursday with criminal misconduct and negligence resulting in 17 deaths on Table Rock Lake. Charlie Riedel/AP…

The Azeri Times

Published

on

Duck Boat Captain Indicted In Missouri Lake Accident That Killed 17

Duck boats sit idle in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks days after the accident in July in Branson, Mo. Kenneth Scott McKee, the captain and operator of a boat that sank on July 19, was charged on Thursday with criminal misconduct and negligence resulting in 17 deaths on Table Rock Lake.

Charlie Riedel/AP


hide caption

toggle caption

Charlie Riedel/AP

Duck boats sit idle in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks days after the accident in July in Branson, Mo. Kenneth Scott McKee, the captain and operator of a boat that sank on July 19, was charged on Thursday with criminal misconduct and negligence resulting in 17 deaths on Table Rock Lake.

Charlie Riedel/AP

A federal grand jury on Thursday handed up an indictment for criminal negligence and misconduct against the captain and operator of the duck boat that sank on Table Rock Lake in Missouri, killing 17 people over the summer.

Kenneth Scott McKee was piloting the amphibious boat when it sank in a sudden violent storm on July 19. He is charged with 17 counts of misconduct, negligence and inattention to duty by a ship’s officer, U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison announced at a news conference.

“Each of the 17 counts in this indictment represents a life that was lost when Stretch Duck 7 sank while being piloted by Mr. McKee,” Garrison said.

He added, “The indictment alleges that McKee failed to properly assess incoming severe weather, both prior to and after entering the water.” The government alleges that the captain ignored warnings of approaching high winds and lightning and that he operated the vessel in conditions that exceeded the boat’s limitations as regulated by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Coast Guard Raises Duck Boat That Capsized In Missouri

The Ride the Ducks Branson boat was capsized by powerful waves within approximately 35 minutes of leaving the terminal near the resort town of Branson. Seventeen of the 31 passengers and crew members aboard the tourist vessel died, including nine from the same family.

“There wasn’t a whole lot of rain, but the wind was tremendous,” KSMU Ozarks Public Radio reporter Jennifer Moore told NPR. The National Weather Service reported winds reached 65 mph.

Stretch Duck 7 was one of two vehicles in the water at the time the thunderstorm rolled in. Both struggled with the surging waves but the other eventually made it across the lake. The state attorney general suggested there were multiple opportunities wherein McKee could have also returned safely to shore.

Even in the case of the boat that made it to safety, Garrison remarked that the driver acted in a “grossly negligent manner.”

Duck Boat Tour's Final Minutes Chronicled In Preliminary NTSB Report

Commercial vessels like the Ride the Ducks tourist boat are exempt from a state law that requires passengers age 7 and under to wear life jackets.

A preliminary review by the National Transportation Safety Board of the boat’s digital video recorder system indicated that McKee conducted a safety briefing that included “the location of emergency exits as well as the location of the life jackets” approximately 10 minutes before “whitecaps rapidly appeared on the water and winds increased.”

As NPR’s Sasha Ingber reported:

“Tia Coleman, a survivor who lost nine family members, including her husband and three children, said at a weekend news conference that the captain told passengers they wouldn’t need life jackets.

” ‘He said, “Above you are your life jackets. There’s three sizes.” He says, “I’m going to show you where they are. But you won’t need them, so no need to worry.” So we didn’t grab them.’ “

When contacted, Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks Branson, declined to comment immediately.

The land and water boats were originally used by the U.S. military in World War II. In the ensuing decades they have been repurposed for tourist rides around the country.

Concerns about the boats’ safety have been raised for decades. Nearly 20 years ago, the NTSB sounded the alarm after 13 people died when a duck boat sank in Arkansas. “Since 1999, 42 deaths have been associated with duck boat accidents,” the AP reported.

Garrison said the investigation is ongoing. It is unclear if others will be indicted.

If convicted, McKee could face up to 10 years in federal prison without parole for each count, plus a $250,000 fine, officials said in a statement.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Politics

Supersonic jet crash at Laughlin Air Force Base in southern Texas kills pilot

A file photo shows a T-38 Talon during an air show. U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Lance Cheung A T-38C Talon supersonic jet crashed Tuesday night at Laughlin Air Force Base in southern Texas, killing one pilot and sending a second to a hospital, the base said.His condition wasn’t specified by officials, and their identities are being…

The Azeri Times

Published

on

Supersonic jet crash at Laughlin Air Force Base in southern Texas kills pilot

A file photo shows a T-38 Talon during an air show.

U.S. Air Force/Master Sgt. Lance Cheung

A T-38C Talon supersonic jet crashed Tuesday night at Laughlin Air Force Base in southern Texas, killing one pilot and sending a second to a hospital, the base said.

His condition wasn’t specified by officials, and their identities are being withheld until their families are notified.

The base says a board of officers will be convened to investigate the cause of the crash.

The Air Force website describes the Talon as a “twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles,” including preparing pilots “for front-line fighter and bomber aircraft.”  

CBS San Antonio affiliate KENS-TV notes the base is located some 150 miles west of San Antonio, near the city of Del Rio and the Mexican border.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Continue Reading

Politics

The Death Toll in the California Wildfires Has Risen to 48

(PARADISE, Calif.) — Ernest Foss was a musician who gave lessons out of his home when he lived in San Francisco, where an amplifier that ran the length of a wall served as the family’s living room couch. Carl Wiley refurbished tires for Michelin. Jesus Fernandez, known as “Zeus,” was described as a loving father…

The Azeri Times

Published

on

The Death Toll in the California Wildfires Has Risen to 48

(PARADISE, Calif.) — Ernest Foss was a musician who gave lessons out of his home when he lived in San Francisco, where an amplifier that ran the length of a wall served as the family’s living room couch. Carl Wiley refurbished tires for Michelin. Jesus Fernandez, known as “Zeus,” was described as a loving father and loyal friend.

They were among the first victims identified in the aftermath of the deadliest, most destructive wildfire in California history, an inferno blamed for at least 48 deaths, with authorities ramping up the search Tuesday for still more souls.

The flames all but obliterated the Northern California town of Paradise, population 27,000, and ravaged surrounding areas last Thursday. About 7,700 homes were destroyed.

The exact number of missing was unclear, but many friends and relatives of those living in the fire zone said they hadn’t heard from loved ones. Some went to shelters looking for the missing.

Efforts were underway to bring in mobile morgues, cadaver dogs, a rapid DNA analysis system for identifying victims, and an additional 150 search-and-rescue personnel on top of 13 teams already looking for remains — a grim indication that the death toll would almost surely rise.

Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea’s office has identified four of the victims, publicly naming three.

James Wiley said sheriff’s deputies informed him that his father, Carl, was among the dead, but the younger Wiley hadn’t been able to leave his property in the fire area to see for himself. The elder Wiley, 77, was a tire-recapper, and the family lived in Alaska for many years before moving to Butte County decades ago.

James Wiley said his father was a stoic veteran, and the two had not spoken in six years. “Hey, I lost him a long time ago,” the younger man said.

Foss, 63, moved to Paradise eight years ago because the high cost of living pushed him out of the San Francisco Bay Area, according to his daughter, Angela Loo. He had swollen limbs and couldn’t walk. He had also been on oxygen.

Loo told KTVU-TV in Oakland that her father taught music out of their home in San Francisco and turned the living room into a studio.

“I love that he shared his gift of music with me and so many others during his lifetime,” she said. “He would want to be remembered for being a San Franciscan through and through.”

Fernandez, a 48-year-old Concow resident, also died.

Myrna Pascua, whose husband was best friends with the man known as “Zeus,” called him a “tireless provider, a dependable and loyal friend, a considerate neighbor, and loving father. He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Five days after the blaze, over 1,000 people were at more than a half-dozen shelters set up for evacuees. At the Neighborhood Church in Chico, counselors, chaplains and nursing students from California State University, Chico, were available to help.

Volunteers cooked meals, and there was a large bulletin board with information about missing people.

Eddie Lazarom, who fled Paradise on foot before getting a lift from a UPS truck, was among those staying at the church. He said he had yet to hear from his three grandchildren, ages 22, 24 and 28.

“I am really worried about them. They have common sense, I’m sure, but I’d hate to find out later that they burned up,” he said.

Greg Gibson came to the shelter for information about his neighbors. He doesn’t know if they tried to leave or not but says the fire exploded so quickly that if they hesitated, they would have had trouble.

“It happened so fast. It would have been such an easy decision to stay, but it was the wrong choice,” Gibson said.

The search for the dead was drawing on portable devices that can identify someone’s genetic material in a couple of hours, rather than days or weeks.

“In many circumstances, without rapid DNA technology, it’s just such a lengthy process,” says Frank DePaolo, a deputy commissioner of the New York City medical examiners’ office, which has been at the forefront of the science of identifying human remains since 9/11 and is exploring how it might use a rapid DNA device.

Still, experts said Tuesday that authorities may first try more traditional methods of identification such as examining dental records. That’s in part because victims might have undergone dental X-rays but not personal DNA profiles. Medical records of bone fractures, prosthetics or implants can also be helpful.

Before the Paradise tragedy, the deadliest single fire on record in California was a 1933 blaze in Griffith Park in Los Angeles that killed 29.

At the other end of the state, firefighters made progress against a massive blaze that has killed two people in star-studded Malibu and destroyed well over 400 structures in Southern California .

The flames roared to life again in a mountainous wilderness area Tuesday, sending up a huge plume of smoke near the community of Lake Sherwood. Still, firefighters made gains. The number of people evacuated was down by about half from the day before, to around 100,000, authorities said, and the fire was partially contained.

“We’re getting the upper hand here. We’re feeling better,” Los Angeles County Fire Chief Daryl Osby said.

Gov. Jerry Brown said California is “pretty well maxed out” from fighting several deadly wildfires, and he expressed gratitude for help from surrounding states and the federal government. He said the state is doing everything possible to prevent fires, but “some things only God can do.”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said he canceled a trip to Asia and will visit the fire zones Wednesday and Thursday.

The fire in Northern California charred at least 195 square miles (505 square kilometers), but officials said crews were able to keep it from advancing toward Oroville, a town of about 19,000 people.

The state recently completed a $1.1 billion reconstruction project at the Oroville Dam — the nation’s tallest at 770 feet (235 meters) — and officials worried about damage if flames came through. Spillways at the dam crumbled during heavy rains in 2017, prompting thousands to flee for fear of a catastrophic release of water.

The cause of the fires remained under investigation, but they broke out around the time and place two utilities reported equipment trouble. Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom, who takes office in January, sidestepped questions about what action should be taken against utilities if their power lines are found to be responsible.

Contact us at editors@time.com.

Continue Reading

Politics

Michelle Obama Begins Arena Tour in Talk With Oprah

You don’t have permission to access “http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2018-11-13/michelle-obama-begins-arena-tour-in-talk-with-oprah” on this server. Reference #18.a02c8343.1542180053.c37b386

The Azeri Times

Published

on

You don’t have permission to access “http://www.usnews.com/news/entertainment/articles/2018-11-13/michelle-obama-begins-arena-tour-in-talk-with-oprah” on this server.

Reference #18.a02c8343.1542180053.c37b386

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Corruption4 weeks ago

UK aims at shady Azerbaijani money – but is it missing the target?

Is the post office open today on Veterans Day (11/12/2018)? Will there be mail, UPS or FedEx delivery?
Politics2 days ago

Is the post office open today on Veterans Day (11/12/2018)? Will there be mail, UPS or FedEx delivery?

Politics4 weeks ago

Political émigré who returned home to visit critically ill father arrested on fraudulent drug-related charges

Karabakh4 weeks ago

No compensation for families of Azerbaijani soldiers killed in Karabakh

Sport4 weeks ago

Barcelona’s Turkish midfielder Turan could be jailed for 12 years

Military4 weeks ago

Azerbaijan Air Force conducts Drill to improve Air Defense capabilities

Georgia3 weeks ago

Azerbaijan should not fear Salome Zurabishvili

Caucasus3 weeks ago

Sex-shops in the South Caucasus: there is sex, but no shops

Azerbaijan3 weeks ago

Number of abortions among minors in Azerbaijan triples in just one year

Society3 weeks ago

Subsistence minimum in Azerbaijan to increase by 4 dollars

Business1 week ago

Papa Gino’s closes dozens of locations this weekend

Business1 week ago

Trump will punish everyone for Iran, except Azerbaijan

Opposition1 week ago

Exiled Azerbaijanis protest against arrest of Azad Hasanov

Technology1 week ago

Smash Ultimate’s DLC roster has been finalized

Business1 week ago

Cruise descends into ‘pure chaos’ as ship loses its balance

Azerbaijan1 week ago

Former USSR commemorates the 13 million victims of Stalinist political repression

Victim in fatal stabbing at Seattle Center had restraining order against suspect
Politics1 week ago

Victim in fatal stabbing at Seattle Center had restraining order against suspect

Amazon Prime Membership Loses Some Value
Business1 week ago

Amazon Prime Membership Loses Some Value

Trending

© Azeri Times - All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of the site's materials is permitted only with a mandatory reference to www.azeritimes.com. Email: info@azeritimes.com