Authorities hold press conference on duck boat capsizing

US Duck boat tragedy

A woman who lost nine of her family members in Thursday night's duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake described the horrifying series of events as she thought she was dying.

The governor's office had no other information about the family members.

Divers found four more bodies Friday in a Missouri lake where a duck boat packed with tourists capsized and sank in high winds, bringing the death toll to 17 in the country-and-western town of Branson, authorities said.

The boat is now located on the bottom of the lake, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said in a press conference Friday. 17 people were killed.

The 17 victims were aged between 1 and 70 and came from six U.S. states, authorities said.

Brayden Malaske, of Harrah, Oklahoma, was on vacation with family when he boarded a replica 19th-century paddle wheeler known as the Branson Belle on the same lake just before the storm hit.

Seven people have been hospitalized. One child and one adult have been released.

"However in doing that, when it was time to grab them it was too late". He said the boat's captain survived but its driver did not.

Nine of the 17 people who who died in a duck boat accident in the United States are from the same family, according to Missouri Governor Mike Parson.

Coleman also said that her husband would have wanted her to speak out about what she said happened before the accident.

"It's a warning telling people to take shelter", he said. "Out of 11 of us, only two of us surviving - that's me and my nephew", Coleman said. "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".

Suzanne Smagala, of Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said the company was assisting authorities. An investigation is now underway.

The canopy design was, however, never addressed by the US Coast Guard, which is typically responsible for regulating marine vessels, and authorities say sightseeing duck boats have been involved in fatal accidents ever since. Some of the evidence will be taken back to Washington, D.C., for further analysis, according to an NTSB representative.

"I find it unconscionable that a federal agency recommends safety procedures, and the duck boat industry refuses to follow them", he says.

Gov. Parson said the main focus of the investigation is to unite the families and give them the resources needed.

In video captured by onlookers from the lake, two duck boats can be seen churning up and down through choppy waves, with water spraying in every direction.

Strong waves capsized the boat during a severe storm.

Lester said the weather had been nice Thursday.

"It shouldn't have been in the water if what happened, happened", Pattison told the CBS This Morning show. But as she and Behr boarded the dinner cruise boat, "the wind really picked up bad and debris was flying everywhere", she said.

The boat's captain was among 14 survivors, five of whom were injured. "We have approximately 30 individuals in the water", said a voice on the dispatch, according to a recording captured on Broadcastify.com.

"My boats are original from World War II", Roberts said.

The Thursday night accident was one of the deadliest United States tourist incidents in recent years.

"Very sad to hear about this awful accident - prayers for all those involved and the first responders who are assisting", Gov. Mike Parson of Missouri said on Twitter.

"The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority".

"Emergency responders and civilian rescuers helped avert an even worse tragedy as people rushed to help in extremely unsafe conditions", Parson said in a statement. "Our prayers are with the victims and their loved ones".

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