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Duck Boat

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NEWS
May 14, 2012 | By Miriam Hill and Troy Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Ten feet. Had Matthew R. Devlin walked that far, he could have alerted his tugboat captain that he was experiencing a family emergency, in all likelihood saving the lives of two Hungarian tourists who died in the July 2010 duck-boat accident. One minute. Had Devlin, the first mate, kept watch as the tug pushed a 250-foot barge down the Delaware River, that is all the time he would have needed to turn his boat to avoid the collision that killed Dora Schwendtner, 16, and Szabolcs Prem, 20. Two lives were lost because of failures both small and epic that day, leading to a $17 million settlement Wednesday for the families and 18 surviving passengers when the federal lawsuit suddenly ended after less than two days of testimony.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The duck-boat trial came to a halt Tuesday after the judge in the federal case urged the two sides to enter settlement talks. It is possible the trial will resume if lawyers for the passengers on the duck boat and for the two companies that operated the vessels involved in the accident can't reach an agreement. On July 7, 2010, a tug operated by K-Sea Transportation Partners pushed a barge into a duck boat operated by Ride the Ducks. Passengers on the boat filed a civil suit against the two companies, claiming they are liable in the accident.
NEWS
March 25, 2011
The Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation will honor Philadelphia Police Detective Timothy Brooks at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday for rescuing passengers in last year's fatal duck-boat accident on the Delaware River. Brooks dived in and rescued a mother and her three children after a towed barge capsized the duck July 7. Two Hungarian tourists died. Brooks is one of three people selected by Medal of Honor recipients for 2011 Citizen Service Before Self Honors. Marie Conley, a crossing guard from Boston, will be honored posthumously for shielding a 10-year-old boy from an oncoming car. The third honoree is Pascal Spino, a pediatrician from Greensburg, Pa. The ceremony is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
NEWS
April 21, 2011 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tourists clearly are happy that duck boat tours are back in operation. The first Ride the Ducks vehicle to carry tourists in more than eight months took off fully loaded this morning as more potential passengers gathered on Fifth Street near Market to board the next of the amphibious vehicles. "We're not concerned about being on the boats," said Gary Gasperack from Belchertown, Mass., before boarding. "We've been on the boats in Boston, and we loved it, and we have no qualms about it. " Duck boat operations have been suspended since July, when a barge ran over one of the crafts in the Delaware River, killing two Hungarian tourists.
NEWS
May 7, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Ride the Ducks boat stalled on the Delaware River Sunday afternoon, on the eve of a trial stemming from the 2010 accident in which a large barge hit a duck vessel stopped on the water, killing two passengers. All 26 passengers and two crew members were towed safely to shore, the company said. After the 2010 accident, in which two Hungarian students died when a barge hit a stalled Ride the Ducks boat, the company, working with the Coast Guard, created a safety plan that included always having a tow boat nearby.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
In the nearly two years since their children drowned in the Delaware, the families of Dora Schwendtner and Szabolcs Prem have grown close. They had never met before the summer of 2010, when Dora, 16, and Szabolcs, 20, came to Philadelphia as part of a church-sponsored cross-cultural trip. But on July 7 of that year, after a barge overran the Ride the Ducks tour boat that had been anchored with engine trouble in the middle of a shipping lane, the families were thrown together by tragedy.
NEWS
June 30, 2011 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
As Philadelphia nears the one-year anniversary of the fatal stalling of a Ride the Ducks tour boat, a set of tourists got stranded aboard a similar vessel in San Francisco Bay. On Wednesday, just before noon, the California boat had to be towed from the water, after experiencing engine trouble that produced smoke, according to the San Francisco Examiner. No one was hurt. Two Hungarian tourists died on July 7, 2010, when a stalled duck boat in the Delaware River was struck by a city barge being pushed by a tugboat.
NEWS
May 10, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The two companies operating the watercraft involved in the July 2010 duck-boat accident that killed two Hungarian tourists will pay their families a combined $15 million as part of a legal settlement reached this afternoon. An additional $2 million will be split by 18 passengers on the duck boat who survived. The parents of Szabolcs Prem, 20, and Dora Schwendtner, 16, who drowned when a barge pushed the duck boat they were riding on under water, were traveling to Hungary Wednesday and not available for comment.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Ride the Ducks boat stalled on the Delaware River on Sunday afternoon, just a day before the start of a federal trial stemming from the 2010 accident in which a barge hit a stranded duck vessel, killing two passengers. On Sunday, the 26 passengers and two crew members were towed safely to shore within four minutes, the boat company said. After the 2010 accident, Ride the Ducks and the Coast Guard created a new safety plan that required a standby rescue boat to be available at all times during duck tours.
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NEWS
May 14, 2012 | By Miriam Hill and Troy Graham, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
Ten feet. Had Matthew R. Devlin walked that far, he could have alerted his tugboat captain that he was experiencing a family emergency, in all likelihood saving the lives of two Hungarian tourists who died in the July 2010 duck-boat accident. One minute. Had Devlin, the first mate, kept watch as the tug pushed a 250-foot barge down the Delaware River, that is all the time he would have needed to turn his boat to avoid the collision that killed Dora Schwendtner, 16, and Szabolcs Prem, 20. Two lives were lost because of failures both small and epic that day, leading to a $17 million settlement Wednesday for the families and 18 surviving passengers when the federal lawsuit suddenly ended after less than two days of testimony.
NEWS
May 11, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
After nearly two years of litigation, the families of the two Hungarian tourists killed in the July 2010 accident between a barge and a duck boat on the Delaware River will receive $15 million from the companies that owned the vessels. "For the families, no amount can replace their priceless only children," their lawyer, Robert Mongeluzzi, said moments after announcing the settlement in the federal case. Szabolcs Prem, 20, and Dora Schwendtner, 16, who were visiting Philadelphia from Hungary, died in the accident.
NEWS
May 10, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The two companies operating the watercraft involved in the July 2010 duck-boat accident that killed two Hungarian tourists will pay their families a combined $15 million as part of a legal settlement reached this afternoon. An additional $2 million will be split by 18 passengers on the duck boat who survived. The parents of Szabolcs Prem, 20, and Dora Schwendtner, 16, who drowned when a barge pushed the duck boat they were riding on under water, were traveling to Hungary Wednesday and not available for comment.
NEWS
May 10, 2012 | By Miriam Hill and Melissa Dribben, INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS
The duck-boat trial came to a halt Tuesday, on the second day of testimony, after the judge in the federal case urged the two sides to try to settle. The trial may resume as early as Wednesday if lawyers for the passengers on the duck and for the two companies that operated the vessels involved in the accident cannot reach an agreement. At stake in the negotiations is whether the companies are at fault in the accident and, if so, how much they will have to pay the passengers and the families of two victims who filed suit.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
In dramatic opening testimony Monday in the federal Ride the Ducks trial, a lawyer for the families of two Hungarian tourists killed in the July 2010 accident said one of the victims lost her life because she took time to throw a life vest to someone already in the water. "Sixteen-year-old Dora Schwendtner throws her life preserver to Kyle Burkhardt to save his life, and because of the defendants' failures, she lost hers," said Robert Mongeluzzi, a lawyer representing the families of Schwendtner and Szabolcs Prem, 20, the second victim.
NEWS
May 9, 2012 | Letter to the Inquirer Editor
Disgrace to the game For anyone to say that Cole Hamels' fastball into the back of rookie Bryce Harper is just part of Major League Baseball is an unmitigated disgrace to the game ("Hamels suspended," Tuesday). Digging in on a pitcher or brushing back a batter is part of the game. Hamels' behavior was classic schoolyard bully and neither he nor any player should be defended or condoned by calling the hit a welcome to the big leagues. Anthony J. Morgan, Elverson New ‘Bully of Broad Street' I thought the Flyers were the "Bullies of Broad Street.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Ride the Ducks boat stalled on the Delaware River on Sunday afternoon, just a day before the start of a federal trial stemming from the 2010 accident in which a barge hit a stranded duck vessel, killing two passengers. On Sunday, the 26 passengers and two crew members were towed safely to shore within four minutes, the boat company said. After the 2010 accident, Ride the Ducks and the Coast Guard created a new safety plan that required a standby rescue boat to be available at all times during duck tours.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Regina Medina, Daily News Staff Writer
Mother's Day was celebrated Sunday in Hungary, but for two of its natives, the day was filled with tremendous pain and loss. For Maria Prem and Aniko Takacs, whose respective son and daughter drowned in the 2010 duck-boat accident on the Delaware River, it's their second Mother's Day without their children. "We don't really have any more holidays; we don't have any Christmas; we don't have anything anymore," Prem said Sunday. "There's just nothing. " She spoke in Hungarian with reporters with the families' attorney, Peter Ronai, acting as translator.
NEWS
May 8, 2012 | By Miriam Hill, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
As a barge descended on a tiny duck boat in July 2010, 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner threw her life jacket overboard to help the duck's first mate, her family's lawyer said Monday. "Watching the tape of my daughter dying was horrifying," Schwendtner's father, Peter, said through an interpreter shortly after opening arguments in the federal trial over the accident, which killed Schwendtner and Szabolcs Prem, who were visiting from Hungary. In his opening statement, Robert Mongeluzzi showed dramatic video of the accident.
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