Skip to main content

Death toll rises in duck boat accident

  • Empty

    Emergency workers patrol an area Friday, July 20, 2018, near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in at least 13 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Workers were still searching for four people on the boat that were unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Empty

    Emergency workers patrol an area Friday, July 20, 2018, near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in at least 13 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Workers were still searching for four people on the boat that were unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Empty

    A state trooper patrols an area Friday, July 20, 2018, near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in at least 13 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Workers were still searching for four people on the boat that were unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Empty

    Emergency workers patrol an area Friday, July 20, 2018, near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in at least 13 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Workers were still searching for four people on the boat that were unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Empty

    A park ranger patrols an area Friday near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in at least 13 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Workers were still searching for four people on the boat that have not been located. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Empty

    Emergency workers patrol an area Friday, July 20, 2018, near where a duck boat capsized the night before resulting in at least 13 deaths on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Workers were still searching for four people on the boat that were unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Empty

    Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, left, and Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader hold a press conference at Table Rock Lake about fatal accident involving a Duck Boat at the lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Stone County, Mo. Multiple people, including children, died after a boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank, the local sheriff said. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

  • Empty

    Missouri Gov. Mike Parson walks toward the podium to hold a press conference about the fatal accident involving a Duck Boat at Table Rock Lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Stone County, Mo. Multiple people, including children, died after a boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank, the local sheriff said. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

Published July 20. 2018 11:06PM

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Divers found four more bodies Friday in a Missouri lake where a duck boat packed with tourists capsized and sank in high winds, bringing the death toll to 17 in the country-and-western town of Branson, authorities said.

Investigators blamed stormy weather for the accident Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake. Winds at the time were blowing as hard as 65 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The boat was carrying 29 passengers and two crew members on a pleasure cruise, and authorities said everyone aboard had been accounted for. Seven of the 14 survivors were hurt when the vessel went down. At least two were hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.

The crew member who was operating the boat died, but the captain survived, authorities said.

Passengers on a nearby boat described the chaos on the lake as the winds picked up and the water turned rough.

“Debris was flying everywhere,” Allison Lester said in an interview Friday with ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

Lester’s boyfriend, Trent Behr, said they saw a woman in the water and helped to pull her into the boat. He said he was about to start CPR when an EMT arrived and took over.

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board were to investigate. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader urged anyone with video or photos of the accident to contact authorities.

Weather conditions were sure to figure prominently in the investigation. The weather service issued a severe thunderstorm watch around midday Thursday, followed by a warning at 6:32 p.m., about 40 minutes before the boat tipped over. Both the watch and a statement issued at 7:02 p.m. mentioned the risk of 70 mph winds.

“When we issue a warning, it means, take action,” said Kelsey Angle, a weather service meteorologist in Springfield.

Divers located the vessel, which came to rest on its wheels on the lakebed, and authorities planned to recover it later Friday.

The boat sank in 40 feet of water and then rolled on its wheels into a deeper area with 80 feet of water. Investigators had no information about whether passengers were wearing life jackets or whether they were stowed onboard, the sheriff said.

The names of the dead were not immediately released.

Classified Ads

Event Calendar

<<

June 2019

>>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
      
      

Upcoming Events

Twitter Feed