Outside the Ride the Ducks building in Branson, Missouri

Duck boat disaster that killed 17 may be allowing the 3 charged men off the hook

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A federal magistrate judge recommends dismissing the charges against three men in a duck boat disaster that killed 17 people on July 19, 2018. The disaster in Branson, Missouri, was highly criticized due to the numerous weather warnings announced 23 minutes before the boat departed. 

General manager of Ride the Ducks, Curtis Lanham, and manager, Charles Baltzell, faced multiple neglect and misconduct charges. Scott McKee, the captain of the boat, also faced charges for failure to assess incoming weather and instruct guests to use the floatation devices within the boat.  

Last week however the federal magistrate judge, David P. Rush, urges for these charges to be dismissed because Table Rock Lake is not a navigable waterway under admiralty law. Lawyers for the charged men are also claiming the incident was a tragedy but ultimately an accident.