Norman Man Recounts Losing Family In 1999 Duck Boat Accident

Monday, July 23rd 2018, 5:52 pm

News of the duck boat accident in Branson hits home for a Norman man who lost three family members to a 1999 duck boat accident.

Martin Patton says this latest accident probably could have been prevented, as one of few people who can understand exactly what the victims are going through.

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“It was a little more of a gut punch than I thought it was going to be. It's brought up quite a bit,” Branson said.

The day the Miss Majestic sank in Arkansas, Patton lost his sister, and became both an orphan and the legal guardian of his 15-year-old brother.

“They found my sister pretty soon afterwards. Found my mom. They didn't find my dad until the next day,” Patton said.

Patton was not on the boat at the time of the accident, but says his brother recounted to him escaping through a window.

Thirteen passengers died, and the NTSB report the found the duck boat's added canopy pushed passengers under water.

See Also: Officials Release Names Of Those Lost In Duck Boat Accident

“Why have these not changed? Twenty years ago, they told them, ‘You need to do something about the canopy,’” Patton said.

The full report for the latest sinking in Branson has yet to be released.

Many of the vessels were originally made to transport supplies from boats to land in World War II.

Kyle McAvoy, a marine safety expert with Robson Forensics says ducks are safe under fair weather right conditions as long as the equipment and crew do their jobs.

“There's always need for more research and hopefully things are learned from these accidents,” McAvoy said.

Patton is hoping people learn from this latest tragedy.

“It happens again and again and again. Something needs to be done. It just does. It's insane,” Patton said.

Read Also: Teen Who Lost Her Dad, Brother Describes Duck Boat Capsizing