13 Killed After Tourist Boat Capsizes on Missouri Lake

At least 13 people, including children, were killed after a boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank Thursday night amid dangerous weather conditions, CBS News reports.

The Associated Press reports that divers searching Table Rock Lake in Branson found two more bodies Friday morning after resuming their search following the deadly Ride the Ducks capsizing, bringing the death toll from 11 in the early hours of Friday morning to 13.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says four others remain missing Friday. He said 14 others survived, but that seven were injured. He said those who died ranged in age from 1 to 70 years old.

There were 31 people on the boat, reports CBS Springfield, Missouri affiliate KOLR-TV. Four adults and three children arrived at the hospital shortly after the incident, said a spokeswoman for the Cox Medical Center Branson. Two adults were in critical condition and others were treated for minor injuries, said Brandei Clifton.

While another duck boat was able to make it safely back to shore, Rader said that stormy weather was believed to be the cause of the capsizing.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Branson area Thursday evening, with NWS meteorologist Steve Lindenberg saying that winds reached speeds of more than 60 mph.

"It's a warning telling people to take shelter," Lindenberg told CBS News of a severe thunderstorm warning.

An off-duty sheriff's deputy working security for the boat, as well as dive teams from a number of law enforcement agencies, helped rescue people after the accident. The sheriff said that divers ended their search for the night Thursday with plans to resume searching Friday morning.

Rader said life jackets were aboard the boat, but he doesn't know whether people were wearing them.

Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said in a statement saying in part that, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred this evening at Ride The Ducks Branson. This incident has deeply affected all of us. 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. The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority."

Ripley Entertainment also said it recently acquired the vessel involved in the accident, according to CNN.

Branson, a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists looking for entertainment, is about 200 miles southeast of Kansas City.

Amphibious duck boats, designed by the U.S. military during World War II to deliver troops and supplies, were later adapted for use as sightseeing vessels and travel on both land and water.


Duck boats have been involved in other deadly accidents in the past. In 2015, five college students in Seattle were killed when a boat collided with a bus, and one accident in 1999 left 13 people dead after a boat sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas.