Missouri duck boat capsized in a sudden storm
13 people killed and 4 are still missing in duck boat accident. Matt Finn has the details.
Missouri divers pulled two bodies from the water Friday morning, and rescuers were desperately searching for four people who disappeared in a Branson-area lake when severe weather capsized a tourist duck boat, killing at least 13.
Some of the victims were children, the officials said. Seven people were hospitalized after the Thursday night accident, including two who remained in critical condition Friday. The other patients had minor injuries, authorities said.
Look at the times for a ‘duck boat’ capsized on a lake in Missouri, killing at least 11 people
Here is the full story: https://t.co/12ERxgl7qc pic.twitter.com/dv7Q4VFxjZ
— Sky News (@SkyNews) July 20, 2018
Harrowing mobile phone footage appeared to make the tank to take on water and have difficulty moving when rough waters pummeled the boat. Jim Pattison Jr, president of the “Ride the Ducks” owner Ripley Entertainment, told “CBS this morning” the “rapid storm” came out of “nowhere.” But, Pattison said, the ship “should not have been in the water.”
BREAKING: This is a video of what the waves were like on Table Rock Lake in Missouri tonight when the duck boat capsized. The Man in this video says, “Never quite seen it this bad. Boats that can’t get in. Boats can’t get out.” (Credit: Lakeside Resort) pic.twitter.com/HxB8aY2u0a
— Mike Saccone (@mikesacconetv) 20 July 2018
“I don’t have all the details, but to answer your question, no, it should not have been in the water, if what happened, happened,” Pattison said. “This company is already 47 years and have never had an incident like this or something close to it. To the best of our knowledge – and we don’t have a lot of information now, but it was a fast moving storm that came out of basically nowhere is a kind of verbal analysis which I received.”
Weather experts said a strong wind blows into the region, and gusts of wind was even more turbulent on the lake, because there are no structures to slow it down.
“There were winds over 60 mph in that time,” National Weather Service meteorologist Cory Rothstein said. “The lines of the storms were fast…There were 3 meter waves on the lake.”
NEW VIDEO: This is the video of the second duck boat that was also on the water) sent to us by Paul. He and his family visiting from Texas.
This boat is safe again…but it shows how wild the lake conditions. pic.twitter.com/fVpKuWDEy6
— Andrew Havranek KY3 (@AndrewHavKY3) 20 July 2018
The incident took place around 7:09 a.m. Central time, as the land – and water-capable boat with 29 passengers and two crew members on the lake. It was not immediately clear when the vessel was filled at the time of the incident.
Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said that there were life jackets on the boat, but it was not immediately clear if the passengers she had on when the vessel capsized. Rader said an off-duty sheriff’s deputy in the vicinity of the boat during the incident, immediately sprang into action, helping people to get to safety. Divers were at that time at the lake search for missing persons and is the boat in the water. Rader confirmed that the captain of the boat survived, but the driver did not. The sheriff said that the incident was being investigated.
At the time of the storm, two “Ride the Ducks” boats were in the water. The other boat made it to the coast safely, and a passeger on that boat, took cell phone video to show how violent the water had become.
The National Transportation Safety Board said on Twitter that the researchers came on the scene Friday morning.
Witnesses described what they saw during the tragic incident. Trent Behr and his girlfriend Allison Lester told the Kansas City Star, they were on a showboat that never left the dock due to the rough waters when she saw two duck boats struggling in the lake.
Behr said he saw a woman lying in the water, before you get her on the boat. He said she was unconscious and that he was ready to start CPR when the emergency services arrived.
“We are shocked,” Lester said. “We are just standing there, such as: ‘How could this have happened.’ Surreal.”
“That would be us up there,” Behr said. “That could be anyone.”
“Ride the Ducks” is a “70-minute guided amphibious tour takes you through the scenic Ozarks, both on land and water,” says the website.
In a statement, spokesperson Suzanne Smagala-Potts said that the company was “deeply saddened by this tragic accident.”
“This incident has deeply affected all of us. We will continue to do what we can to help the families that were involved and the authorities as they continue the search and rescue,” Smagala-Potts said.
President Trump also expressed his condolences to the victims of the incident.
“My deepest condolences to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident took place in Missouri. Such a tragedy, such as a large loss. May God be with you!” Trump tweeted.
My deepest condolences to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident took place in Missouri. Such a tragedy, such as a large loss. May God be with you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
Missouri Gov. Mike Pastor shared his prayers on Twitter for “all those involved”, while Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. and Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., thanked the first responders who burst into action.
Very sad to hear about this terrible accident – prayers for all those involved and the emergency responders that help. https://t.co/PQ56zagc0s
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) 20 July 2018
“Tragedy here in Missouri this evening. Heavy heart for the families of those who died and hurt. And as always, sincere thanks to the first responders,” McCaskill tweeted.
Tragedy here in Missouri this evening. Heavy heart for the families of those who died and hurt. And as always, sincere thanks to the professionals. https://t.co/RrASkl0fcU
— Claire McCaskill (@clairecmc) 20 July 2018
“Deeply saddened by the tragedy of Table Rock Lake. My prayers are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. Thank you for the first emergency help,” Blunt tweeted.
Deeply saddened by the tragedy of Table Rock Lake. My prayers are with the families and friends who lost their loved ones. Thank you for the first emergency help.
— Senator Roy Blunt (@RoyBlunt) 20 July 2018
Duck boats, famed for their ability to travel on land and in water, have been involved in other lethal incidents in the past. These accidents are one in 2015, in Seattle, in which five students were killed when a boat collided with a bus, and one in 1999 that left 13 people dead after the boat sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas. Safety advocates have sought improvements to the duck boats since the Arkansas incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Kathleen Joyce is a breaking/trending news producer for FoxNews.com. You can follow her via @Kathleen_Joyce8 on Twitter.