17 people are dead after an almost unthinkable accident in stormy waters off the shores of Branson Missouri. The tour boat from “Ride the Ducks Branson’ was on a regularly-scheduled tour taking sightseers around waters of Table Rock Lake when a sudden savage storm blew in out of nowhere.
Too far from shore to make an immediate retreat, the vessel was left at the mercy of Mother Nature. The amphibious vessel out of Branson, Missouri, was no match for the 60-mile-per-hour winds and capsized with 31 people aboard. Children were among the passengers but no information has been released as to identities or ages of those who perished.
"We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident," Suzanne Smagala-Potts of Ride the Ducks Branson, the company involved in the accident, said in a statement. "We will continue to do all we can to assist the families who were involved and the authorities as they continue with the search and rescue."
Now with all missing persons accounted for, the search has been suspended, leaving the final death toll at 17. Others remain in the hospital but those people are expected to recover. The search went on throughout Thursday night and into Friday morning, rescuers clinging to hope that they would find someone alive.
“Just in case anyone doesn’t know what a Duck Boat is this is a boat that was used in the Military called the DUK boat. These amphibious boat are restored/refurbished for boating entertainment and other things.”
Social media users who were touched by the tragedy spoke out, some with harsh words for the operators of the unconventional touring company.
“I would think storm warnings exist in Missouri, preventing casualties of boat capsize even if a tourist boat. I suspect mental health business involved. I've seen this before where mental health forces boat to go out even in bad weather because boat ride is scheduled.”
Others think they know what went wrong.
“Missouri duck boat was heading into strong winds and waves causing it to capsize. Should have gone with the wind until reach any shore. Captain was trying to save the boat. Shame.”
Please join us in praying for the survivors and the families of those who died as they try to make sense of the horrific accident and come to terms with their devastating loss.