17 dead after duck boat capsizes in Missouri

21 July, 2018, 00:52 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • 17 dead after duck boat capsizes in Missouri

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader urged anyone with video or photos of the accident to contact authorities.

Footage recorded by witnesses show two duck boats struggling through choppy waters amid ferocious headwinds before one of them overturned. He described the rescue effort as "outstanding".

Located about 20 minutes from Branson, Table Rock Lake is a popular destination for "watercraft aficionados", according to its website.

The operators of Maine Duck Tours say they are reviewing all safety and weather policies following a duck boat accident in Missouri that killed 17 people.

"Ride the Ducks" is a tourist attraction association with Branson in Taney County, but the incident happened on the lake in Stone County. The bodies of 13 victims already have been found.

Branson was under a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET), about half an hour before the boat capsized. Mr Rader said the divers ended their search for the night.

"While the incident did not occur in Branson, we are hoping and praying for all involved", the post said. "My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the bad boat accident which just took place in Missouri. May God be with you all!" he said.

Strong waves capsized the boat during a severe storm. Unfortunately, one of those boats never made it to shore and ended up capsizing and sinking to the bottom of the lake leaving 17 dead and several injured.

Tourist Trent Behr was on a nearby boat at the time. Multiple people are still missing.

"Oh my gosh, oh no", a woman is heard saying in the background of the video. "She was unconscious. I was about ready to start CPR and the EMT did show up at that time".


According to Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Coast Guard will conduct an investigation to determine the specifics of the situation.

Branson is about 200 miles southeast of Kansas City and is a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists. He said dive teams were wrapping up for the evening and would resume in the morning. "I believe it was caused by weather, yes". Another boat on the lake was able to safely make it back to shore. In other accidents, passengers have said getting the life preservers on has been hard. Team will travel Friday morning.

The CoxHealth Medical Center said it was treating six patients from the incident, three of whom were under the age of 18.

Seven people were taken to hospitals, two with critical injuries.

Officials blamed the accident on stormy weather. The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the area during the period the boat sank. "Also other area damage", the scanner audio caption on Broadcastify said.

The sheriff said an off-duty deputy had been on the boat when it went under and credited him with rescuing some of the boat's passengers.

"My understanding was that when the boat went in the water, it was calm", said Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley Entertainment, the parent company of Ride the Ducks Branson.

In 2010, a Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle was involved in a deadly water accident in Philadelphia.

Duck boats are also hard to regulate on a national level because cities and states have varying safety requirements.

Amphibious vehicles have been used in the tourist industry for roughly 50 years, after they were originally developed for transporting soldiers during World War II.

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