FWIW, and I didn't see the accident
Frankly I would never set foot on one of these ducks, they simply look overloaded and unseaworthy. 37 people hooting and blowing stupid duck calls and doing anything but paying attention. Captain
has to be a tour guide and pay attention to all those people, how could he do a good job? Personal opinion. 2¢
We frequently walk to Penns Landing, the area where the incident occurred and watch these things wallow around in the water
Typically they do not stray more than a 100 to 150 yards from the bulkhead as there is more to see in close. Occassionally one wanders further off but it is rare. The channel is off further and you need to align yourself to get through the Ben Franklin bridge. So normally the shipping
and the ducks are well separated.
The Delaware has quite a current
along this shore, maybe 3 knots at full tide if not more. You don't have to be without power long to be swept well out of position. And the current
reverses with the tide, obviously. There is 6 feet of tidal rise here I believe.
So, even at the best of times, these ducks can be caught in a strong tidal flow making 3 knots against a foul current with a crush crowd of screaming, hooting, picture taking, quacking tourist.
No blaming anyone here except perhaps the fact that this kind of incident was inevitable, given enough time. Perhaps the best thing is that ONLY two people died.