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Accident Report Detail

Safety Recommendation Report: Improving Vessel Survivability and Passenger Emergency Egress of DUKW Amphibious Passenger Vessels

Executive Summary

O​ngoing investigation​​​

On the evening of July 19, 2018, seventeen of the thirty-one persons aboard the Stretch Duck 7 died when the amphibious passenger vessel (APV) sank during a high-wind storm that developed rapidly on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the sinking of the Stretch Duck 7, which originally was built in 1944 as a DUKW landing craft to carry military personnel and cargo during World War II and was then modified for commercial purposes to carry passengers on excursion tours.

Probable Cause

​Ongoing investigation​


  1. Having been constructed with a low freeboard and without compartmentalization, or subdivision, the Stretch Duck 7 lacked adequate reserve buoyancy and therefore quickly sank once water entered the vessel after it encountered severe weather.
  2. Both the fixed canopy and a closed side curtain spanning the starboard side of the passenger compartment on the Stretch Duck 7 impeded passenger escape, which likely resulted in an increased number of fatalities.



To the US Coast Guard

Require DUKW amphibious passenger vessels (commonly referred to as original and/or “stretch” DUKWs) to have sufficient reserve buoyancy through passive means, so that they remain upright and afloat with a full complement of passengers and crewmembers in the event of damage or flooding. (M-19-15)

For DUKW amphibious passenger vessels without sufficient reserve buoyancy (commonly referred to as original and/or “stretch” DUKWs), require the removal of canopies, side curtains, and their associated framing during waterborne operations to improve emergency egress in the event of sinking. (M-19-16)

Accident Location: Branson , MO USA  
Accident Date: 7/19/2018
Accident ID: DCA18MM028

Date Adopted: 11/6/2019
NTSB Number: MSR1901
NTIS Number: