Trump Administration monitoring investigating of sunken Ride the Ducks boat

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Seventeen people are confirmed dead after a duck boat carrying 31 people capsized and sank during a severe thunderstorm on Table Rock Lake. "But today we are grieving and crying".

At least seven other passengers were injured, including two in serious condition.

Fourteen people survived, with passengers and workers on the nearby Showboat Branson Belle - still docked as people boarded for a cruise - helping to rescue them, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said.

The company had been operating for 47 years without incident, Mr Pattinson told CBS, adding that the captain had over 16 years of experience on the water.

Jim Pattison Jr., president of the Ride the Ducks Branson's parent company, told CNN that the 68 miles per hour gusts of wind and major waves "came out of nowhere".

Nicc Hippy wrote, "I believe once the boat capsized they were trapped".

"Our hearts are broken in hearing of the Branson, Missouri Duckboat tragedy", her parents, Martha and Ivan Warmuth, said in a statement Friday.

The mayor identified the crew member driving the boat as Bob Williams, known informally as "Captain Bob".

"I hope it won't tarnish Branson", she said with tears in her eyes. "He knew everyone. He was always promoting Branson". Five college students were killed in 2015 in Seattle when a duck boat collided with a bus; the operation in Branson is separate from Seattle.

Mourners place flowers on the windshield of cars left in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks
Mourners place flowers on the windshield of cars left in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks

Police were first called about the duck boat sinking shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday, officials said. Up until last night, the deadliest of these accidents happened in 1999 on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, AR. Duck boats, which can travel on land and in water, have been involved in other deadly incidents in the past.

Safety advocates have sought improvements and complained that too many agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements.

Duck boats were originally used by the US military in World War II to transport troops and supplies, and later were modified for use as sightseeing vehicles.

They were never designed for civilian use.

According to the Kansas City Star, the National Transportation Safety Board investigated the Arkansas incident and reported that the overhead roof canopy prevented passengers from escaping the sinking vessel.

"Debris was flying everywhere", Allison Lester said in an interview Friday.

Branson, in southwestern Missouri, is a family-friendly tourist destination whose attractions include "Dolly Parton's Stampede" dinner theater, the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai and a Titanic museum with a model of the sunken vessel's front half. "She was unconscious. I was about ready to start CPR and the EMT did show up at that time".

The boat sank in 12 metres of water and then rolled on its wheels into a deeper area with 25 metres of water.

Table Rock Lake is a 67-square-mile reservoir containing water impounded by the Table Rock Dam on the White River. The NTSB later determined that the accident - which also caused the duck boat to sink - occurred because the person guiding the larger ship was distracted and focused on his cellphone, though federal investigators also criticized the duck boat's operator, Ride the Ducks, for actions they said contributed to the accident.

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