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Officials blame distracted crew for boat crash

Federal transportation officials on Tuesday blamed a tugboat navigator distracted by using his cell phone and a laptop computer for the July 2010 collision of the boat with an amphibious sightseeing craft that killed two Hungarian tourists.

The accident occurred when the Ride the Ducks International craft known as a duck boat stalled in the Delaware River in Philadelphia, where it was hit by an empty barge being pushed by the Caribbean Sea tugboat.

Dozens of passengers were dumped in the river — 10 suffered minor injuries and two died, authorities said.

In its report, the National Transportation Safety Board said the probable cause of the accident was failure of the tugboat navigator to keep a proper lookout because he was in the boat's lower wheelhouse and repeatedly using his cell phone for personal calls and also a laptop computer while being solely responsible for navigating the vessel.

Contributing to the accident, the report stated, was the failure of maintenance workers on the duck boat to keep its radiator pressure cap in place and their decision to anchor the stalled boat in an active navigation channel.

Click here for the full report.

Click here for a synopsis of the NTSB report. The full report will be released in the coming weeks.