Cruel Irony: Duck Boat Makes Test Run While Victims' Parents Pay Respects

Parents of Hungarian students killed in crash in Philly Tuesday

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2011  |  Updated 8:28 PM EDT
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Szablcs Prem (L), 20, and Dora Schwendtner (R), 16, were killed after being flung into the Delaware River following a crash between a Duck Boat and barge.

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Children Send Their Love to Families of Hungarian Tourists

Deaf children at camp at Advocate St. Stephen's Church in Germantown wrote cards to the families of those lost in the Duck Boat tragedy. And Tuesday their teacher got the chance to share those cards with the families.

Emotional Plea From Families of Dead Duck Boat Tourists

Families of Hungarian tourists, killed when the Ride the Ducks boat they were in was struck by a barge last month, were in Philly to see where their loved ones died and to make a plea for the end of duck boats.
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On Tuesday, the parents of two Hungarian students killed in a duck-boat crash in Philadelphia visited the site where their children died.

Twenty-year-old Szabolcs Prem and 16-year-old Dora Schwendtner drowned July 7 after a barge struck the duck boat during their tour. Their families have wrongful-death lawsuits pending against the city and the operators of both vessels.

Ride the Ducks hasn’t yet resumed its land-and-water tours in Philadelphia. But lawyer Robert Mongeluzzi says the parents were stunned to see a duck boat crew on the water as they paid their respects. The boat was on a test run, according to Ride the Ducks.

Bob Salmon, Vice President of Marketing of Ride The Ducks apologized for the poor timing of the test run:

"Our hearts go out to the families. We can understand how upsetting this must have been for them. It was totally unintentional."

 "This is the fourth day in a row we have been doing training on the river. If we knew the families were here, we would not have done this training."

The parents tossed wreaths into the Delaware River at Penn's Landing during a brief visit, lawyers said.

Thirty-five others on the sunken duck boat survived.

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