Seventeen People Dead After Duck Boat Capsizes On Missouri Lake During Thunderstorm

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Evie Fordham Politics and Health Care Reporter
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  • A duck boat capsized on a lake in Missouri during a severe storm Thursday evening.
  • At least 17 people, some of them children, died in the incident, according to CNN.
  • The storm “came out of nowhere,” according to the president of the company that operates Ride The Ducks Branson.

At least 17 people, including children, are dead after a duck boat on a lake in southern Missouri capsized during a sudden thunderstorm on Thursday evening.

There were 31 people on board the boat when it sank, reported CNN. Fourteen people survived, including the boat captain, said Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader. Four people were unaccounted for when search operations resumed on Friday morning, but now divers have recovered all bodies, reported BBC.

The boat is approximately 80 feet below the surface of the lake and will likely be recovered Friday, Rader said. Police believe there were life jackets on the boat.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, appeared on CNN’s “New Day” to discuss the tragedy that occurred near the popular tourist town of Branson, Missouri, on Friday morning.

“We’re just doing the best we can to try and bring some sort of resolve to the scene,” he said.

The duck boat set out on Table Rock Lake while skies were still clear. Then a storm “came out of nowhere,” said Jim Pattison Jr., who is president of the company that operates Ride The Ducks Branson, according to CNN.

He spoke on CNN’s “New Day” on Friday morning.


“[We] will be closed for business while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community,” said Ride the Ducks in a Facebook post Friday morning. (RELATED: Oath Keepers Said They’d Protest Maxine Waters’ Office. When They Didn’t Show, Counterprotesters Burned The Flag Anyway)

Two of the company’s duck boats were on the lake when high winds started blowing. One made it back safely, and one did not. A severe thunderstorm warning had been issued about 30 minutes before the boat capsized.

Winds reached 63 mph in the area, taking down trees and damaging buildings, reported CNN.

U.S. President Donald Trump sent his condolences via Twitter on Friday morning to the “families and friends” of everyone involved in the accident.

This post has been updated with more information.

Follow Evie on Twitter @eviefordham.

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