Death toll rises to 17 after duck boat capsizes

Seventeen dead, more missing after storm sinks 'duck boat'

Authorities hold press conference on duck boat capsizing

"We have to bring nine bodies, four babies, home".

The National Transportation Safety Board said it has launched an investigation into the accident.

The boat that sank wound up about 80 feet down in the water, Rader said. It had landed in about 40 feet of water, he said, before rolling down to a deeper point and ending up resting on its wheels.

"We will do an analysis of the facts and approximately one year later - one year from now - we should have a probable cause and a report for the general public", Earl Weener of the NTSB said Friday night. But a severe thunderstorm watch had been in effect for the area since 11:20 a.m. Thursday.

"This is not 1901", he wrote.

"There is a canopy fixed to the top that, unlike any other boats in the world, that pulls the passengers with it towards the bottom of the lake", the attorney said.

The "duck boat" was carrying 31 people when it overturned on Table Rock Lake, a popular tourist attraction.

Mr. Rader said stormy weather likely made the boat capsize. He later explained that even though many people have questions, they should not speculate the reasons why this event happened. "Since the incident occurred, the Administration has been in contact with Governor Parson and other State and local officials, and the President will continue to monitor and receive regular updates on the situation", the statement added.


During a press conference, Sheriff Doug Rader could not say whether passengers were wearing life vests at the time of the capsizing, or if the boat's windows were open.

The vessel was owned by Ripley Entertainment company, whose "Ride the Ducks" website on Saturday said the business is closed "while we support the investigation".

"We had a line of very strong thunderstorms that caused 74 miles per hour winds here in Springfield", he told the newspaper, noting that winds were likely stronger on the lake. But he acknowledged that the boat should not have been out.

Pattison told CBS This Morning on Friday that the storm "came out of basically nowhere" and that the lake is typically calm. "It is absolutely devastating".

Just before 7:45 p.m., another member of the response team said they had "at least six or seven fatalities".

Five of those who died were under the age of 16.

That deputy helped with the rescue, while employees of the Belle jumped in to help along with some of that ship's passengers, Rader said, describing the effort as "outstanding". He said he and his wife decided not to take the tour because of the weather.

First responders from multiple agencies responded to the incident, initially reported as a "mass casualty incident" involving a "tourist type boat" on Table Rock Lake. The majority of the other Stretch Ducks were also built in 1944 or 1945, according to Coast Guard records.


"Oh my gosh, oh no", a woman is heard saying in the background of the video. "Somebody needs to help them".

The duck boat can be seen struggling to make headway against a train of wind-driven waves. The accident prompted the state Legislature in MA to pass a law that now prohibits duck boat drivers from simultaneously serving as narrator and tour guide.

Tragically, 17 people are dead after a horrific duck boat accident in Missouri. The tourist town mourned Friday for more than a dozen sightseers who were killed when a duck boat capsized and sank. It started to sink, killing two people and injuring 26.

The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District has labelled the tragedy, which took place on a Ride The Ducks boat, a "mass casualty".

Ride The Ducks, a company in Branson, Missouri, that operates amphibious duck vehicles in the area, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Bob and Judy Williams were married for more than 30 years and lived in Branson, Richardson said. Belinda Coleman, Glenn Coleman, Horace "Butch" Coleman, Irvin Raymond Coleman, Angela Coleman, Evan Coleman, Reece Coleman, Maxwell Coleman and Arya Coleman all perished in the tragedy, a family member told ABC News.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she recalled the family who lost nine members waiting in line and blamed a possible ticket mix-up for them ending up on the ill-fated boat.


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