After an event like this, we are reviewing our policy on boats on the water with a storm approaching. Now, we call the customer on his mobile phone if he's out and warn him of an approaching storm. We may ask him to come back to the marina, we may ask him to seek shelter till it passes or just to use good judgement, depending on the severity of the system. We'll get together and talk about it in light of what has happened.
I would think the Duck company has something in place, some protocol they follow when a storm is approaching. They have phones and I'd think they'd have some sort of radio to talk to each other and/or home base. If they don't, that doesn't say much for their foresight. If they do, protocol wasn't followed, by at least 2 Captains.
We had resort guests on a Duck yesterday during the storm. They had launched on to Taneycomo and were headed towards the fountains at the Landing. He said he told, insisted to the Captain that they not go, turn back and the Captain said no - they were going to watch the light show. Said he'd never had an accident before so... It could have been #2 down - they were lucky.
As for changing course on Table Rock, those boats are SLOW and I bet they were hit with a head wind so fast they had no time to do anything except take it head on. In the video, it looked like the quickest place to go to get out of the wind was to get behind the Belle but they didn't have time to veer one way or the other I bet.
Bottom line, they took a chance on the severity of the weather and got beat.