Duck Boat Accident Kills 17

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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. Coleman, one of 14 people who survived after the boat went under the water, told KOLR that she was shouting but couldn't hear or see anyone else. Fourteen survived, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said.

"All of our hearts just hurt", said Kyrie Rose in a phone interview Friday night.

Divers are expected to resume searching for the missing early Friday.

An investigation into the matter is underway, said officials.

Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were on the boat when it capsized.

Coleman said none of the passengers put on life jackets because the captain said they were not necessary.

"It was just one of those things that kept me awake, as I sat and thought about the families", said Daniel, who helped to organize the vigil and spread the word through Facebook. "It's a really unique circumstance in that the weather was really awful", said Caroline Storm, who rode with her toddler who had insisted ever since seeing the cartoon duck on the side of the boat when they arrived in town. One of the boats lags behind the other, nosediving into the waves.

A team from the The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) plans to go an investigate the accident.

On the state-run Missouri Division of Tourism's website, VisitMO, Ride the Ducks said, "Our Ducks use the latest in marine design and safety".

Allison Lester, who was on a nearby boat, told "Good Morning America" Friday that the waters "were rough". "The wind really picked up bad and debris was flying everywhere", she said.

"When we issue a warning, it means take action", meteorologist Kelsey Angle said.

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The duck boat that sank was one of two still operating during the storm, Rader said.

The disaster occurred on Table Rock Lake outside the tourist city of Branson when a microburst storm hit the region, with winds of up to 75mph.

Rader said an off-duty sheriff's deputy working security for the boat company helped rescue people after the boat capsized.

President Trump also expressed his condolences for the victims Friday morning on Twitter.

Ride the Ducks is a national duck tour operator with locations across the United States, and the Branson operation was purchased previous year by Ripley Entertainment, according to Suzanne Smagala-Potts, a spokeswoman for Ripley.

Bob and Judy Williams were married for more than 30 years and lived in Branson, Richardson said. The accident happened on Table Rock Lake in Branson, a tourist area famous for country music shows and other entertainment.

The risk of heavy weather was apparent hours before the boat left shore. "That is terror, agony, torture and finally death", said Karen Koehler, a Seattle attorney representing victims in a 2015 duck boat collision with a bus that killed five college students.

Rader said 31 people had been aboard the amphibious vessel, known as a duck boat for its wheels that allow it to ride on land in addition to floating low on the water.

Safety advocates have sought improvements since the Arkansas deaths.

Critics argued that part of the problem is that too many agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements.

The fleet of the World War II DUKW boats are seen at Ride the Ducks on July 20, 2018 in Branson, Missouri.

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