How to Escape a Sinking Boat

Following the duck boat tragedy in Missouri, Inside Edition asked experts for advice.

The Missouri duck boat tragedy, which left 17 people dead, raises questions about how to survive a similar disaster. 

Inside Edition went to a training simulator at Survival Systems USA in Groton, Connecticut, to learn how someone can improve their chances of survival.

"That minute when you are completely underwater if you don't think, if you panic, it's life or death," instructor Michael Mulford said. "Don't panic, keep thinking."

Mulford says as you are boarding, make a mental note of where the exits are so you can plan your escape before disaster strikes.

Survivors of the duck boat sinking say they became completely disoriented when they went under and couldn’t see a thing in the murky water.

“Once we get underwater you can’t see very well, if at all,” he added. “So it's using those reference points to work your way to your exit.”

One way of finding an exit is by holding onto the frame of a window so even if you can't see, you can feel your way out.

According to the experts at Survival Systems USA, a life vest could actually be a problem if you are submerged inside a boat with a roof.

“If the watercraft submerges, that life vest is going to put you up on the ceiling and you're not gonna be able to pull yourself out because of the buoyancy of the life vest,” Mulford said. 

It's important to note that you should put your life vest on when you reach the surface in order to keep you afloat as you wait to be rescued.