The deaths of 17 people who drowned when a "duck boat" they were riding in sank in a Missouri lake have brought back to mind design faults in the amphibious tourist vessel that were flagged nearly two decades ago by U.S. safety officials.
"From what I understand there was life jackets in the duck", Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said at the press conference. Of those, one sustained serious injuries, Rader said.
Authorities have not publicly identified the dead but said they included a one-year-old child.
Another family member Carolyn Coleman stated two of her brother-in-laws had died in the accident.
Two people in hospital in a critical condition are expected to survive, according to a spokeswoman for Cox Medical Center. Boat crews are supposed to give safety briefings to passengers at the beginning of a journey. He said that while that duck boat carried life vests on board, the investigation was too early to determine if any of the passengers had put them on prior to the vessel submerging. "They trust with their scholars because they know that we do our best at Freedom schools to look out for the safety of all of their children, so they were quite excited to go today". A full investigation was underway. "And here were are a day later you and me talking and they're no longer with us".
"Hearing this happen is just devastating", said Koehler. The company has been operating in the city for 40 years and is "a staple of Branson", Smagala-Potts said.
"This has been my community for 10 years, so just hearing about it last night I felt completely helpless at home, not feeling like there's anything I could do, so just coming out tonight was sort of my emotional way of showing support", Alyssa Ambrosier said.
A microburst is a severe, localised wind gust, blasting down from a thunderstorm, typically covering an area less than 4km in diameter and lasting less than five minutes.
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Duck boats are amphibious vehicles that function both on land and on the water.
Officials blamed the accident on stormy weather.
"It shouldn't have been in the water if what happened, happened", Pattison told the CBS This Morning show. Investigators also found fault with the maintenance of the duck boat and decisions by the captain to anchor in an active navigation channel. "We have approximately 30 individuals in the water", said a voice on the dispatch, according to a recording captured on Broadcastify.com. "I am trying to figure out why the boats were out there. We pray for all those who were affected by this bad tragedy". We will continue to do all we can to assist the families who were involved. "Words can not convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking", the company said in a statement on its website.
Parson's called the efforts of emergency responders and civilian rescuers "courageous" and said he was inspired by them.
The family plans to pray for the victims at their church service.
"We are at Branson and on the showboat!"
"You drown if you do, you drown if you don't", said Robert Mongeluzzi, who is calling for federal and state transportation officials to immediately halt all duck boat operations. "Our prayers are with the victims and their loved ones. We will provide updates as we have additional, confirmed information to share".
Parson also ordered flags in the state to be flown at half-staff for a week.