The U-S Coast Guard held a hearing in Sioux City Thursday to investigate the death of a woman aboard the Sioux City Belle casino riverboat. 59-year old Pat Thompson of Sioux City died on the casino riverboat one week ago today during a lifeboat safety drill. Bob Tiefenthaler, an attorney for the Thompson family, says the investigation is centering on an electric winch used to raise the lifeboat. He says it looks like the winch malfunctioned in some way. Tiefenthaler says they must find out if the winch was defective, or if human error caused the malfunction.Tiefenthaler had this opinion about what may’ve happened. He doesn’t believe it was a freak accident.He says it’s too early to tell if the family will file a lawsuit.Lieutenant Joe Rock is leading the investigation for the Coast Guard.Rock verifies the investigation is centering on the winch used to lift the lifeboat. He says he can’t comment on the specifics of this case, but says precautions are being taken until the issue is solved.Rock says the Coast Guard will make a report on the investigation within 60 days.
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