Sheriff: 4 missing from boat are presumed dead
- Author: Leroy Wright Jul 21, 2018,
Jul 21, 2018, 18:56
Authorities say 11 people died after a duck boat carrying about 31 passengers capsized and sank Thursday on Table Rock Lake near the tourist town of Branson, Missouri.
However one of the two members of the family who did manage to survive was named as Tia Coleman by Fox59 News.
Missouri Governor Mike Parson said seven of the 14 survivors were injured, one seriously.
Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were on the boat when it capsized.
The 17 victims were aged between one and 76 and came from four U.S. states, official records show.
"From what I understand there was life jackets in the duck", Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told the press conference.
The NTSB - which is now investigating Thursday's incident in Missouri - said duck boat operators should be required to use boats that "remain upright and afloat in a fully flooded condition" and to remove canopies or install a "Coast Guard-approved canopy that does not restrict either horizontal or vertical escape by passengers in the event of sinking".
Ride The Ducks, a company in Branson, Missouri, that operates amphibious duck vehicles in the area, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
The company that owned the duck boat, Ripley Entertainment, said that it was working with families of the victims. A thunderstorm brought winds of 50 to 65 miles per hour to the area shortly before the first 911 call came in at 7:09 p.m.
He told the Associated Press, "They're not fit for water or land because they are half auto and half boat".
"Oh my God, those poor people, oh no!" someone says in the background as the water crashes into the smaller boats.
"We didn't know any of them but if it were to happen to us, we would want to see the same results", her husband, Spencer Ambrosier, echoed.
"I look at my family here, and this could've been us", Ed Brown, who was at the vigil, told CNN affiliate KMIZ.
Branson officials offered City Hall as a place where survivors of the duck boat capsizing could reunite with family members and people could grieve with chaplains and psychiatrists.
Pittsburgh's fleet was among the first in the USA, and are among the original built military Army Ducks used during World War I and World War II.
In 1999, 13 people died when a boat sank near Hot Springs, Ark. Authorities expect to recover the boat later Friday. Several fatal accidents have occurred since they were repurposed as tourist vehicles, including one in 2015 in which five students were killed when one collided with a bus in Seattle.
"I can't process it enough to think half of the people if not more died yesterday", Lemus said.
Barlow says there are ways to stay safe on the water like having life jackets and checking the weather constantly - even when you expect a sunny clear day. One of the boats returned safely and the other sank. "We pray for all those who were affected by this awful tragedy". "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. It followed up at 6:32 p.m. with a severe thunderstorm warning for three counties that included Branson and the lake.