The Latest: 17 confirmed dead in duck boat sinking on Table Rock Lake in Branson

KMBZ News Staff
July 20, 2018 - 6:49 am

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Branson, MO -

 2:05 p.m. Friday

Authorities say it could take several days to raise a duck boat that sank in southern Missouri, killing its driver and 16 passengers.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says the vessel came to rest in 80 feet of water in Table Rock Lake.

Authorities initially said it would be raised Friday but Pace says it will take several days to get the equipment in place. He says investigators "want to preserve evidence as best is possible."

Pace says the area has been secured and the investigation turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard.

Pace says divers indicated that the water visibility was better than normal, expediting the recovery of the victims' bodies. They ranged in age from 1- to 70-years-old.

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Authorities said late Friday morning that four missing passengers from the duck boat sinking on Table Rock Lake have been recovered, bringing the death toll to 17.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said during a news conference Friday that he believes the boat sank in 40 feet (12 meters) of water and rolled into 80 feet (25 meters) of water.

He says the Missouri State Highway Patrol divers  located the vessel, which is resting on its wheels in Table Rock Lake. Authorities plan to recover the boat later Friday.

He says the first call about the capsized boat came in at 7:09 p.m. Thursday.

He says authorities are working to determine what happened and had no information about whether passengers were wearing life jackets or whether they were just stowed onboard.

 The victims' names haven't been released.

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   9:30 a.m.

   Authorities say the four people still missing after a duck boat capsized in southern Missouri are presumed dead, in addition to the 13 people whose bodies have been recovered.

   Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader described the search as a "recovery mode for the bodies that are still missing" during a news conference Friday morning.

   Rader says the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died but that the captain survived when the boat sank Thursday night in Table Rock Lock in the Branson area. Thirteen victims already have been found.
   Rader says an off-duty deputy aboard the nearby Showboat Branson Belle and others on the riverboat jumped in to help the duck boat's passengers. He described the rescue effort as "outstanding."

   Branson is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City and is a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists.
 

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