17 Killed, Including 9 Family Members, After Missouri Duck Boat Capsizes During Storm

Credit: The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District

Seventeen people, including nine members of a single family, died Thursday when a duck boat carrying tourists capsized on a Missouri lake.

The boat, which was carrying 31 people, was on Table Rock Lake when a thunderstorm coupled with strong winds caused it to capsize around 8 p.m., authorities said.

There were two duck boats on the water when the storm hit and both were attempting to make it back to land, police said.

“The first one made it out, and the second one didn’t,” Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said during a press conference.

Gov. Mike Parson confirmed Friday that nine family members were among the casualties, USA Today reported. Two other relatives survived.

Seven people have been hospitalized. Two adults were in critical condition, while the others were being treated for minor injuries, a Cox Medical Center spokesperson told CBS News.

It is unclear if passengers were wearing life jackets at the time of the incident although there were life jackets aboard the boat.

Cellphone video taken by a witness showed the boat struggling to move on the water before it was hit by waves and then sank.

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.

Dive teams were called to the scene and searched the lake until 11:30 p.m., police said. 

Ripley Entertainment, which owns the boat and the Ride the Ducks attraction in Branson, expressed condolences to the victims in a statement.

"We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred this evening at Ride The Ducks Branson. This incident has deeply affected all of us. We will continue to do all we can to assist the families who were involved and the authorities as they continue with the search and rescue."

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