What was a rescue is now a recovery

Twenty-eight hours after a tourist-crowded “Ride the Ducks” boat disappeared into the murky depths of the Delaware River and took two Hungarian students with it, the U.S. Coast Guard ended its rescue effort Friday night.

While the Coast Guard vowed to take up the search again Friday morning and hoped for some closure for the missing victims’ families by the end of the weekend, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board said they will be here seven to 10 days.

When asked about his initial reaction to a disabled 34-foot watercraft carrying 35 passengers being crushed underneath a 250-foot barge, the lead NTSB official simply said, “It’s tragic.” He said no timeline for the crash was known Thursday afternoon.

The sunken duck boat also remained on the bottom of the river in about 50 feet of water and the U.S. Coast Guard did not know when the tugboat’s owner would announce its plans for retrieving the wreck.

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