At least 17 of 31 people aboard a commercial duck boat that capsized in Stone County, Missouri last night have died, authorities have reported. The vessel was ferrying passengers on Table Rock Lake, southwest of the town of Branson. A violent squall rolled over the region, tossing and turning the vessel until it sank.
A nearby showboat and its own passengers helped with immediate rescue attempts. Thanks to their heroics, 14 people were successfully rescued. Tragically, some of the deceased were children. No official statistic of the age of all those who lost their lives in the boating accident has yet to be given to the public, though.
Ride the Ducks Branson owned and operated the duck boat that capsized. A spokesperson from the company told reporters the storm was unexpected. Although, some reports have stated a thunderstorm warning was issued as early as 6:30 PM local time, or about 30 minutes before the accident. It is not known at this time how many passengers were wearing life vests, but a local sheriff did state life vests were on the vessel. The United States Coast Guard is conducting ongoing investigations into the incident to get a clearer understanding of what happened and how it could have been prevented.
From all of us at Peterson & Associates, P.C. in Kansas City, Missouri, our hearts go out to all involved in this tragic boating accident. We hope only the best for the survivors and the families of those lost. We also want to show sincere appreciation for first responders and volunteers who banded together and reacted quickly to save lives. Please accept our condolences.