17 confirmed dead after tourist boat accident in Missouri

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)


UPDATE: Friday- 3:55 p.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) A spokeswoman for Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says nine of the 17 people who died in a duck boat accident are from the same family.

Parson spokeswoman Kelli Jones says Friday that another two members of the same family survived when the boat capsized on Table Rock Lake near the tourist town of Branson.

The governor’s office had no other information about the family members. Authorities have not yet identified the victims.

The boat capsized Thursday evening when a thunderstorm hit the area and brought winds that approached near-hurricane speeds.

Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were on the boat when it capsized. The boat’s driver was among those killed.

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UPDATE: Friday-3:25 p.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP)--Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says emergency responders and civilian rescuers helped prevent an even worse tragedy after a duck boat capsized on a lake and killed 17 people.

Parson spent Friday in the Branson area after the boat sank Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake amid high winds. He called the efforts of emergency responders and civilian rescuers “courageous” and said he was inspired by them.

He said people rushed in to help “in extremely dangerous conditions.”

Parson met with Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader and others leading the recovery operation before visiting the Cox Medical Center in Branson to meet with survivors and medical personnel.

The governor pledged the support of all state resources to help in an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard.

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UPDATE: Friday - 1: 00 p.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — The mayor says residents of and visitors to the southwest Missouri city where a duck boat capsized, killing 17 people, have been donating food, drinks and flowers.

Branson Mayor Karen Best says it's been a "difficult time" since the Ride the Ducks boat sank Thursday night in Table Rock Lake on the outskirts of Branson, but that it's given the tourist community a "chance to step up to help those in pain."

City Hall has become a command center where victims' families and friends can meet with counselors and clergy as well as people who can answer their questions. Red Cross officials are also there to help.

Best says Branson, known as an entertainment center, is usually a city "full of smiles," but that "today we are grieving and crying."

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UPDATE: Friday - 12: 30 p.m.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Investigators with the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating a duck boat accident that killed 17 people in southern Missouri.

Coast Guard Petty Officer Lora Ratliff says the agencies are working "side-by-side" to determine what caused the Ride the Ducks boat to sink Thursday night in Table Rock Lake in the Branson area. NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson says its investigators are arriving Friday.

Authorities are releasing few details, including whether the people aboard were wearing life jackets. The NTSB and Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader are urging anyone with video or photos of what happened to provide them to authorities.

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BRANSON (KATV) - Authorities say 17 people are confirmed dead after a tourist boat capsized on Table Rock Lake Thursday evening.

Thirty-one people were aboard a Ride the Ducks boat when it overturned and sank around 7:00 p.m.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader says they received the first call about the boat going under around 7:09 p.m.

Many in the area jumped in to help aid in the rescue, including an off-duty officer.

Rader says as of Friday morning, divers have located all of the bodies, bringing the fatality count to 17. The Ride of Ducks boat has also been found and will be retrieved sometime later in the day.

Sources tell KATV several of the victims involved in the crash are from Arkansas.

Officials say they believe weather caused the boat to capsize.

The National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 mph was measured around 7:00 p.m. Thursday evening at the Branson Airport.

Life jackets were aboard the boat at the time of the accident, however, it is unknown if they were being used, according to sheriff Rader.

Arkansas's Governor Asa Hutchinson took to social media Friday morning, saying Arkansas stands ready to help.

President Trump tweeted out his condolences to family and friends involved Friday morning.

If anyone has video of the accident they are asked to send it to the Stone County Sheriff Department.

Watch the full press conference with the Stone County Sheriff's Office and Missouri Governor Mike Parson below.

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