Rescuers retrieve 17 bodies after boat capsizes in a Missouri lake

Rescuers retrieve 17 bodies after boat capsizes in a Missouri lake

He said there were life jackets on board.

The boat sank in 40 feet (12 meters) of water and then rolled on its wheels into a deeper area with 80 feet (25 meters) of water.

The dimensions of today's boats aren't readily available, but the WWII vehicles they're modeled after were 31 feet long and weighed 13,000 pounds when empty.

The thunderstorm involved was part of a fast-moving complex that originated in Kansas and unleashed powerful winds all along its path. It followed up at 6:32 p.m. with a severe thunderstorm warning for three counties that included Branson and the lake.

"This is not 1901", he wrote.

"Western Taney County has got divers in the water where the Duck boat went down", Pulley said.

Among the passengers was an 11-member family, nine of whom died, according to Gov. Mike Parson's office.

Parson also ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff for a week.

Ride the Ducks is a national duck tour operator with locations across the United States, and the Branson operation was purchased a year ago by Ripley Entertainment, according to Suzanne Smagala-Potts, a spokeswoman for Ripley.

The storm hit the lake with 80 miles per hour winds that caused waves 5 feet high, Capt. Jim Pulley, owner of Sea Tow Table Rock Lake said in the Springfield News-Leader. But he acknowledged that the boat should not have been out.

The boat, he told U.S. media, "shouldn't have been in the water" due to the weather. "It is absolutely devastating".

An off-duty sheriff's deputy who was working security was on the boat at the time of the accident was able to help rescue people.

Lester said the weather had been nice Thursday.

Passengers on a nearby boat described the chaos as the winds picked up and the water turned rough. "It was just suddenly and out of nowhere".

Duck boats are amphibious vessels that travel on both land and water, and are popular among tourists in major cities.

Like the other boat, they were a few minutes into their ride when high winds and three-foot waves started pounding the enclosed vessel.

"Those poor people", a woman says in the video. "Somebody needs to help them". "And they were good Samaritans".

Two duck vehicles were on the lake and headed back to shore but only one made it. He called duck boats "death traps".

Authorities said the captain of the boat did survive, the driver of the duck boat did not.

The company that builds ducks, Ride the Ducks International LLC, agreed in 2016 to pay a $1 million fine after one of the vehicles, which operate on land as well as water, collided with a bus in Seattle, killing five international students. They were there for a church convention when they chose to take a duck boat tour on Table Rock Lake.

Mongeluzzi said there have been as many as 40 deaths involving duck boats since 1999.

"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.

"Our hearts are broken in hearing of the Branson, Missouri Duckboat tragedy", her parents, Martha and Ivan Warmuth, said in a statement Friday. "This incident has deeply affected all of us".

"Very sad to hear about this frightful accident - prayers for all those involved and the first responders who are assisting", Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri said on Twitter. But they had questions after the boat capsized outside Branson. "We have approximately 30 individuals in the water", said a voice on the dispatch, according to a recording captured on

Mayor Karen Best said Branson is typically a city "full of smiles". Investigators also found fault with the maintenance of the duck boat and decisions by the captain to anchor in an active navigation channel.

"I've been here most of my life and I never saw a storm this bad", he said, adding that he had not seen a warning from local weather stations.

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