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Silver Dollar City (SDC) Discussion Thread

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Yes, it was sunny and the storm came suddenly as you looked at it on the ground, but on radar it had been coming for some time.

 

If this was the case, then there should’ve been someone telling the driver to not go into the water. It shouldn’t be the drivers responsibility to check the radar and see what’s coming. I wonder if they had anyone monitoring the storms coming.

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That's quite a bold statement, especially since the driver should be responsible for the safety of their passengers.

 

So, every operator is responsible for monitoring the weather instead of one person for the location?

 

You feel the same for other amusement rides? The guy at the coaster control panel is supposed to track the weather instead of park operations doing it?

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With a warning like that with that type of advanced warning it seems like it was a well formed line of storms that was already on radar and tracking through the area. If we were dealing with a pop-up storm I would almost understand but you wouldn't have that type of advanced warning with specific information from a pop-up storm, nor would you have a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in advance (though you'd likely have a watch). The storm had wind speeds of 63 and the warning said 60 so they were basically spot on. They f*cked up royally and there's no way to sugarcoat it. The storm was exactly as advertised and the NWS gave them plenty of advanced warning.

 

It shouldn’t be the drivers responsibility to check the radar and see what’s coming.

That's quite a bold statement, especially since the driver should be responsible for the safety of their passengers.

 

I don't know the specifics of their operation, but my guess is that there's someone who watches the weather and communicates with the drivers. There's no way they ask each and every driver to look at radar and make weather forecasts while driving a 30 something passenger bus / boat. The drivers should be focused on driving and leading a tour.

Edited by coasterbill
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Yes, it was sunny and the storm came suddenly as you looked at it on the ground, but on radar it had been coming for some time.

 

If this was the case, then there should’ve been someone telling the driver to not go into the water. It shouldn’t be the drivers responsibility to check the radar and see what’s coming. I wonder if they had anyone monitoring the storms coming.

It's my understanding that they do. The last time I was on it a couple of years ago, we were not able to go on Table Rock because the winds were too high, so they took us on Taneycomo instead, where the cliffs shielded and the wind speed was lower. So they do have some sort of system in place, though I don't have any sort of detailed knowledge of it.

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With a warning like that with that type of advanced warning it seems like it was a well formed line of storms that was already on radar and tracking through the area. If we were dealing with a pop-up storm I would almost understand but you wouldn't have that type of advanced warning with specific information from a pop-up storm, nor would you have a Severe Thunderstorm Warning in advance (though you'd likely have a watch). The storm had wind speeds of 63 and the warning said 60 so they were basically spot on. They f*cked up royally and there's no way to sugarcoat it. The storm was exactly as advertised and the NWS gave them plenty of advanced warning.

 

It shouldn’t be the drivers responsibility to check the radar and see what’s coming.

That's quite a bold statement, especially since the driver should be responsible for the safety of their passengers.

 

I don't know the specifics of their operation, but my guess is that there's someone who watches the weather and communicates with the drivers. There's no way they ask each and every driver to look at radar and make weather forecasts while driving a 30 something passenger bus / boat. The drivers should be focused on driving and leading a tour.

Good point, I didn't think of that. There had to have been a breakdown in communication somewhere that led to the driver being caught off guard, especially with the storm being warned for half an hour. I just got back from Brason on Sunday, and it's very hard for me to even comprehend that an accident of this magnitude could happen in such a wonderful place. I hope they find out what happened so situations like this one do not occur in the future.

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Great article from the Washington Post that Chicago TV meteorologist Tom Skilling just posted on his FB page. This should shut up anyone you might find still trying to defend the boat company:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/07/20/the-violent-storm-behind-the-duck-boat-tragedy-was-well-predicted-not-out-of-nowhere/?utm_term=.1e7c736a8b31

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There had to have been a breakdown in communication somewhere that led to the driver being caught off guard, especially with the storm being warned for half an hour.

 

At least 2 were out as they are both on the video.

 

How many did they have?

 

System breakdown? Storm move in faster than expected? Not faster than forecast, but we've all had forecasts off by 20 min or more. And I've seen plenty hit faster than forecast.

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Great article from the Washington Post that Chicago TV meteorologist Tom Skilling just posted on his FB page. This should shut up anyone you might find still trying to defend the boat company:

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/capital-weather-gang/wp/2018/07/20/the-violent-storm-behind-the-duck-boat-tragedy-was-well-predicted-not-out-of-nowhere/?utm_term=.1e7c736a8b31

 

The company is definitely at fault because someone should’ve seen the storm coming and warned the drivers to not go in the water. It is very possible, however, that the drivers of the boats that were in the water were unaware of the severe storm being so close to them.

 

I just don’t understand why the boats have those covers for the windows. In what situations are those useful or necessary to have? When those things are up there is no possible way 31 people would be able to escape in this type of situation.

 

Also, SDC tweeted that the Showboat will be closed again tomorrow.

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A few points to make about this tragic situation,

 

1. Two boats where in the water during the storm not too far apart. The lead boat had just made it to shore as the 2nd one was taken over by water. I'm going to assume that the Captain of the 2nd boat was assuming they too would make the last stretch to the shore like the one in front of it.

2. As mid westerners know....those bow echo thunderstorms hit fast. You can have blue skies one minute and full blown storm 2 minutes later. That is no excuse with the situation....I'm curious how bad the weather was when the entered the water. No doubt their was plenty of warning given about the storm.

3. The morning after the disaster....Ripley's CEO gave interviews to the press including one on national TV. I got to give him some credit for his leadership post accident. It would have been easy for him to hide behind a generic statement. It was obvious he was shook up and devastated that it happened....even admitted that they should not have been on the lake.

4. Hindsight being 20/20....they should have put the life jackets on and abandoned ship before taking on water. But again....they where getting close to shore, the other boat just made it, and it took on water fast. Just a horrible situation.

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The DUKW was raised today. The first thing which was very apparent and damning was the fact that nearly all the life jackets were intact and still mounted to the rack of the vessel. http://www.ky3.com/content/news/PICTURES-Sunken-duck-boat-raised-from-Missouri-lake-488897941.html

 

The lake depth here was also stated to have been 80+ feet.

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The lake depth here was also stated to have been 80+ feet.

 

Report I saw from divers said it went down in shallower water and slid to rest in deeper water. I forget the depth they mentioned, but I think it was ~10ft.

 

Not sure why PFDs were distributed when the waves picked up, long before the video started. I've spent a lot of time on the water and would have wanted one in those conditions.

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The fact that nobody (?) was wearing a life jacket....sad.

 

I saw these duck boats operating in one of the Chinese franchise parks back in 2012.

And from what I could see, everybody had life jackets on. Period.

 

Now granted, it was in a man-made lake, in the park itself. But still. They had rules.

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Branson Fun Park is already closing up shop. They didn't even make it two months. One of the coasters has already been sold.

 

They are saying they'll be back in October in some fashion. Not sure what that means.

 

I am very disappointed. I missed them in May since they were late in opening, but had plans to be there in August. It just seems so amateurish to me to not even be able to run an amusement business in the middle of Branson for longer than two months without going under. I had high hopes for them, and that they would spur further development along.

 

It's very similar to that park in Alabama that also only made it two months and was also associated with a carnival operator.

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Branson Fun Park is already closing up shop. They didn't even make it two months. One of the coasters has already been sold.

 

They are saying they'll be back in October in some fashion. Not sure what that means.

 

I am very disappointed. I missed them in May since they were late in opening, but had plans to be there in August. It just seems so amateurish to me to not even be able to run an amusement business in the middle of Branson for longer than two months without going under. I had high hopes for them, and that they would spur further development along.

 

It's very similar to that park in Alabama that also only made it two months and was also associated with a carnival operator.

I hadn't heard anything about them closing. The only thing i heard was that the green pinfari coaster was needed back by its carnival showman. Seeing that most of their rides are leased from carnival operators, im sure they'll run into issues since fair season is starting up soon.

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Now granted, it was in a man-made lake, in the park itself. But still. They had rules.

Just for context, I wanted to point out that Table Rock is a man-made lake, and Silver Dollar City is on a peninsula out into that lake.

Granted I don't know much about the park or area but you threw me when you said SDC, which I always thought was in the mountains, was on a peninsula on a lake. I immediately though of like Cedar Point or something similar and was all "Goddamn WTF is Andrew smoking today?" and then I went on google maps and I totally see what you mean.

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^ Oh yeah, don't think it's anything like Cedar Point. It's totally in the mountains AND on a peninsula. It's a few hundred feet above the lake, due to VERY steep bluffs that make for wonderful coaster locations.

 

As for the Branson Fun Park, my son and I went by there yesterday afternoon, and one guy was on a cherry picker working on Windstorm, while parts of the other big coaster were on a truck. We ended up skipping it. Totally would have given them $40 if they had had those two running. Disappointing; Branson really does need some low cost, family friendly activities, and this really fit that niche.

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https://www.kansascity.com/news/state/missouri/article215757310.html

 

Not quite two weeks after a duck boat sank during a storm and killed 17 on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Mo., a lawsuit filed in federal court alleges that the companies involved in the incident knew the boats were unsafe, knew bad weather was ahead and put profits ahead of safety.

 

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of families of several victims in the July 19 disaster, accuses Ripley Entertainment, Ride The Ducks of Branson, Herschend Family Entertainment and other defendants of negligence, wrongful death and product liability.

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I just returned from my first trip to SDC and I have to say that I absolutely loved the park!! The ride ops were great, the food was great, the scenery, the rides, the staff, everything I experienced was top notch. I've read some of the comments made recently about flooded mine and fire in the hole. Yes, they need some TLC! but as a first time rider I really enjoyed them alot. I was there for a day and a half and we didn't even see one show but we never waited in line for more than 30 min and that was on the river rapids ride. It was very hot! I appreciated the water misters around the park and the heavily wooded terrain. Very few times did we have to walk in direct sunlight. I came from Minnesota just to ride Time Traveler and it did not disappoint. The station was air conditioned, the train cars were beautiful and very comfortable to sit on and the ride itself was so unique. It was down once while we were there but it's a new ride, all new rides have bugs that need to be worked out. My biggest surprise was Outlaw Run. I wondered why the leg restraints but after riding it I now understand! So much force and speed and super smooth. The rest of the coaster line up was also pretty great. Wildfire has such an amazing view from the top! Powder Keg has a great launch and even Thunderation was really a fun mine train coaster. I thought the park had a pretty descent line up of flat ride although they could use one or two more.

Branson should be thanking their lucky stars for SDC!! The town itself was O.K. if you like sitting in traffic and looking at all the attractions. I was really surprised to see several old closed down attractions and hotels.

I came back to Minnesota and have been raving about SDC and telling everyone that they should go! I'm telling you local folks that you have a gem of a park. Yes, it needs some TLC but its a winner. My home park is a Cedar Fair park, Valleyfair! It's a nice park but pales in comparison to the charm that SDC has.

 

 

The strip has actually got better in the past couple of years. The lighting package around Time Traveler at night is very nice. Can't wait till later in the year to catch it at night again. The bluegrass version of Clocks by Coldplay is my favorite played while in queue. Thunderation at night is like Expedition Everest, another experience. Well, all the coasters are really.

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I just returned from my first trip to SDC and I have to say that I absolutely loved the park!! The ride ops were great, the food was great, the scenery, the rides, the staff, everything I experienced was top notch. I've read some of the comments made recently about flooded mine and fire in the hole. Yes, they need some TLC! but as a first time rider I really enjoyed them alot. I was there for a day and a half and we didn't even see one show but we never waited in line for more than 30 min and that was on the river rapids ride. It was very hot! I appreciated the water misters around the park and the heavily wooded terrain. Very few times did we have to walk in direct sunlight. I came from Minnesota just to ride Time Traveler and it did not disappoint. The station was air conditioned, the train cars were beautiful and very comfortable to sit on and the ride itself was so unique. It was down once while we were there but it's a new ride, all new rides have bugs that need to be worked out. My biggest surprise was Outlaw Run. I wondered why the leg restraints but after riding it I now understand! So much force and speed and super smooth. The rest of the coaster line up was also pretty great. Wildfire has such an amazing view from the top! Powder Keg has a great launch and even Thunderation was really a fun mine train coaster. I thought the park had a pretty descent line up of flat ride although they could use one or two more.

Branson should be thanking their lucky stars for SDC!! The town itself was O.K. if you like sitting in traffic and looking at all the attractions. I was really surprised to see several old closed down attractions and hotels.

I came back to Minnesota and have been raving about SDC and telling everyone that they should go! I'm telling you local folks that you have a gem of a park. Yes, it needs some TLC but its a winner. My home park is a Cedar Fair park, Valleyfair! It's a nice park but pales in comparison to the charm that SDC has.

 

 

The strip has actually got better in the past couple of years. The lighting package around Time Traveler at night is very nice. Can't wait till later in the year to catch it at night again. The bluegrass version of Clocks by Coldplay is my favorite played while in queue. Thunderation at night is like Expedition Everest, another experience. Well, all the coasters are really.

 

Actually enjoyed quite a few songs in the TT queue. It'd be great if a loop showed up somewhere on-line

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