Missouri duck boat accident among deadliest in almost 20 years

Duck Boat Crashes at Table Rock Lake in Missouri During 60+ MPH Wind Gusts; Multiple Casualties Possible
'Ride the Ducks' boat capsizes on Table Rock Lake in Missouri
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21 July, 2018

Divers on Friday pulled the last bodies from the wreckage of a "duck boat" that sank a day earlier during a storm in a lake near a popular Missouri destination, killing 17 people in one of the deadliest US tourist incidents for years. "A storm came in as we got on and there was 2 ducks that you ride out there and 1 went under", she posted Thursday night on Facebook along with video of the boats bobbing up and down.

"We do not allow our DUCKs to go into the Charles River if there is lightning in the area or if conditions are forecasted to exceed our operating parameters set by the US Coast Guard", the company said. The incident is now under investigation, so it would not be prudent for us to comment or speculate as to what may have caused the incident, but extreme weather seems to have been a major factor.

The National Transportation Safety Board and multiple duck boat companies, including Ride The Ducks of Seattle, declined to comment for this article.

Branson, in southwestern Missouri, is a family-friendly tourist destination whose attractions include "Dolly Parton's Stampede" dinner theater, the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai and a Titanic museum with a model of the sunken vessel's front half. He implied authorities did not expect to find those four missing people alive, saying authorities were in "recovery mode for the bodies were still missing".

"After a while the water started getting rougher, while capping wind was blowing like insane and you see both ducks trying to get out of there", said Malaske said. "The boat capsized and, quite frankly, they should be banned", he said of the Missouri accident in a phone interview with 6abc Action News. The boat had a captain and a driver with a commercial license, he said. He said 14 people survived, and that seven of them were injured. "We're very resilient." Severe evening thunderstorms, including winds in excess of 60 miles per hour, struck the area at the time of the deadly crash.

Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were aboard for a pleasure cruise.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said Thursday that stormy weather likely made the boat sank.

Police were first called about the duck boat sinking shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday, officials said. "They're not fit for water or land because they are half auto and half boat".

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Safety advocates have sought improvements since the Arkansas deaths. "She was unconscious. I was about ready to start CPR and the EMT did show up at that time".

UPDATE-11:45 A.M. EST: The Stone County Sheriff's Department has confirmed to CBS affiliate KOLR-TV that the death toll has risen to 17 on the morning after the incident.

Duck vehicles are modeled on the landing craft used in the D-Day invasion and used on sightseeing tours around the world.

The names of the dead were not immediately released.

It is not known whether the passengers were wearing life jackets. Smagala added this was the Branson tour's only accident in more than 40 years of operation.

Weather can change rapidly in this part of the country, moving from sunshine and calm to unsafe storms within minutes, said Jason Schaumann, another weather service meteorologist.

"It's a warning telling people to take shelter", he said.


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