Dead, 6 Missing: The Latest on the Branson Duck Boat Sinking
21 July, 2018, 00:53 | Author: Essie Rivera
Seventeen people have died after an amphibious "duck boat" carrying tourists sank in stormy weather in the USA state of Missouri, police said. Waves crash up against the windows, and the Showboat Branson Belle can be seen docked nearby, on the lake's shore by Table Rock State Park.
Emergency crews responded to the incident shortly after 7 p.m. after thunderstorms rolled through an area that is a Midwestern tourist destination, the fire district said on Twitter.
Local news outlet KY3 released a video which showed several boats were on the water at the same time as the aforementioned tourist attraction.
Divers will resume searching for other victims on Friday, police said.
He said it is unknown whether the captain or Ride the Ducks staff checked the forecast prior to going on the lake. Authorities said 17 people, including some children, were killed when the boat sank to the bottom of the lake, according to the Associated Press. "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.
The Coast Guard will conduct an investigation, said Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is assisting.
Ripley Entertainment spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala-Potts said in a statement the company would "do all we can to assist the families who were involved and the authorities as they continue with the search and rescue".
Duck amphibious vehicles are used on tourist sightseeing tours around the world and have been involved in a number of fatal accidents in the past two decades.
Amphibious vehicles have been used in the tourist industry for roughly 50 years, after they were originally developed for transporting soldiers during World War II. Three more were also trapped inside the boat.
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Weather conditions caused waves to become choppy, and boats across the lake struggled to stay afloat. Add Duck Boat Accident as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Duck Boat Accident news, video, and analysis from ABC News. They were called DUKW boats, and the acronym from GMC stood for D: Designed in 1942; U: Utility; K: All wheel drive; W: Dual-tandem rear axles.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.
The most serious incident occurred in 1999 when a duck boat sunk moments after launching onto Lake Hamilton in Arkansas and was reported as "uncontrolled flooding" due to a loose part.
"That is very outstanding", Rader said, referring to the handful of volunteers who assisted with the search and rescue mission.
National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Lindenberg says the agency had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Branson area, and winds reached speeds of more than 60 miles per hour.
Attorney Robert Mongeluzzi says he has actually been calling for the ban of duck boats since the July 2010 incident, where a duck boat collided with a barge on the Delaware River.
The boat capsized Thursday evening when a thunderstorm hit the area and brought winds that approached near-hurricane speeds.
There were 31 people - 29 passengers and two crew members - aboard the capsized boat, according to the Stone County Sheriff's Office.
In addition, there may be some vivid lightning and damaging, straight-line wind gusts within any of these storms. The next rain and storms chance is very slim with an isolated possibility on Sunday mainly in the afternoon.
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