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Seattle’s Ride the Ducks highlights safety measures after tragic duck boat accident in Missouri

SEATTLE -- Ride the Ducks Seattle had no shortage of riders on Friday, a day after furious waves capsized a similar amphibious tour boat in a Missouri lake.

Seventeen people are dead, including nine members of one family.

“It makes me wonder how these things are maintained, whose looking at it and who is piloting those boats,” Arlington resident Ken Levesque said.

The deadly Ride the Ducks 2015 crash on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle and Thursday's Ride the Ducks boat capsizing in Missouri have Levesque staying away from the tourist attraction.

“That really brought some concern to me and my family, I don’t think I would ride them,” Levesque said.

During a typical tour, after some time on the roads, the Seattle duck boats eventually make their way on to Lake Union. But the company says they always take wave height, wind speed and inclement weather into consideration before they get in the water.

Ride the Ducks Seattle says they are not affiliated with the company in Branson, Missouri, and that they follow stricter rules here than the U.S. Coast Guard prescribes when determining whether or not they get in the water. The company says it’s not uncommon for the them to cancel the water portion of its tour or reroute it in bad weather.

Q13 News questioned what safety measures are in place in the case a tour boat does sink here.

“I am hoping there are of some type of escape instruction set, in case something goes sour,” tourist John Wagner said.

The company says every vehicle is equipped with quick release safety windows and 65 life preservers, which is enough for everyone on board.

“They had them readily available on top of each and every person’s seat,” rider Annetta McCoy said.

McCoy says despite Missouri’s tragedy, she felt very safe on her ride in Seattle on Friday.

“Going from land to water was amazing! I enjoyed it,” McCoy said.

Ride the Ducks says they will continue to do safety drills every 90 days on how to save lives in case they have to abandon the boat or if there is a person overboard.

The company says they talk about the weather in their daily morning briefing and continually monitor for changes throughout the day.