Similar Duck Boat Tragedy Happened 20 Years Ago

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HOT SPRINGS, Ar. — Nearly 20 years ago, a similar Duck Boat accident claimed the lives of 13 people in central Arkansas.

It happened in May, of 1999 in Hot Springs.

A survivor told a local paper the Duck Boat sank within 30 seconds of taking on water.

This is video from rescue efforts. The 20 people on board scrambled for life preservers as the Duck Boat sank in Lake Hamilton.

People who live in condos nearby, rushed to their boats to help.

Emergency management officials say the seven survivors made it out because neighbors sprang into action.

Today, Duck Boats are still operating in Hot Springs.

But that tragedy back in 1999 brought some big changes.

The company that operated the boats back then went out of business.

The owner of the company operating them today, tells our sister station it’s made some changes to the structure of the boat, to make it safer.

Each boat is inspected every day and there are more than enough life vests on board for everyone.

The Duck Boats have to be in compliance with coast guard standards and drivers in Hot Springs must complete three months of training before taking out tourists.

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