Eleven people dead after Missouri tourist boat accident

Mourners place flowers on the windshield of cars left in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks

While the boat had life jackets aboard, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said he did not know how many passengers and crew wore them at the time of the incident.

Behr said that at one point, he and other passengers on the dinner boat helped pull an unconscious woman from the water. He described the rescue effort as "outstanding".

The man-made lake is a popular tourist draw located in southern Missouri on the border with Arkansas.

"Oh my God, those poor people, oh no!" someone repeatedly says in the video as massive waves hit the duck boats, at times almost burying them.

Wendy Doucey, an office manager at the Stone County sheriff's office, said that divers had recovered the four bodies from the sunken duck boat. The bodies of 13 victims already have been found.

Since 1999, 37 people have died in incidents involving duck boats on land and water across the USA and Canada.

President Donald Trump tweeted about the accident Friday morning. "May God be with you all!" he wrote on Twitter. The footage ends before the boat capsizes. Divers were still searching Table Rock Lake, a large reservoir outside the town of Branson, for missing passengers. Lester was on a nearby boat.

Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Laurie Driver says storms tend to blow up quickly in the region of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas that includes Table Rock, but the agency must rely on people making their own judgments about the safety of setting out on the water. "She was unconscious. I was about ready to start CPR and the EMT did show up at that time". It carried 31 people, authorities said, and appears to have flipped over as a line when thunderstorms struck the area. "Our thoughts and prayers right now are with these family members", Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Friday morning, calling the accident a "tragedy".

The cause of the sinking is under investigation, but officials believe weather played a role. The Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

At least 17 people drowned after a tourist "duck boat" sank in southeast Missouri, authorities said Friday.

Mourners place flowers on the windshield of cars left in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks
Mourners place flowers on the windshield of cars left in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks

Seven people were taken to hospitals, two with critical injuries.

He added that the severe weather was a contributing factor in the accident. Another duck boat on the lake was able to safely make it back to shore.

According to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, a heavy storm reached Stone and Taney counties at 6:30 p.m. and reached Table Rock Dam at about 7 p.m.

The area was hit with a severe thunderstorm with winds of 63 miles per hour.

Among the rescuers was an off-duty sheriff's deputy on the Branson Belle who "jumped in and helped", Rader said.

"My understanding was that when the boat went in the water, it was calm", said Jim Pattison Jr., president of Ripley Entertainment, the parent company of Ride the Ducks Branson.

The incident marks the first time in more than 40 years a "Ride The Ducks" boat in Branson was involved in an accident, a company representative said.

The amphibious boat travels on both land and water, and is popular among tourists in major cities.

The company that builds ducks, Ride the Ducks International LLC, agreed in 2016 to pay a $1-million fine after one of the vehicles collided with a bus in Seattle, killing five international students.

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