By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (KYW NEWSRADIO 1060) — First responders who helped rescue passengers after this summer’s duck boat accident were being honored this morning in center city.

KYW’s Paul Kurtz reports that more than two dozen first responders were treated to a bountiful breakfast buffet courtesy of the merchants, who started planning their tribute a couple of weeks after the duck boat was and sunk by a tug-driven barge.

Two people were killed but 35 were saved, thanks to people like detective Tim Brooks, who happened to be working in the area of Penn’s Landing when disaster struck:

“I grabbed a life preserver and took off all my equipment and jumped in and swam the life preserver over to what turned out to a mother and three young girls.”

Michael Holohan, president of the Reading Terminal Market Merchants Association, says a tribute breakfast was a no-brainer for his group:

“The one thing we can do here is we can feed people. We’re really good at that thing. We don’t do awards, we don’t plaques, (or) scholarship funds, but we do a really good job of feeding people.”

Two Hungarian tourists were killed on July 7th when a duck boat broke down and was hit by a tug-driven barge, sending 35 passengers and two crew members into the water.

Everyone else was rescued thanks to those first responders.

A preliminary report issued by the National Transportation Safety Board has found that the tug boats pilot did not respond to the radio distress calls of the stalled duck boat. The NTSB says it will issue a detailed analysis of the accident by next year.

(file photo)

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