Why would those boats, which ride very low in the water on a calm day, even be operating given the severe weather conditions and posted small craft advisories?
Suzanne Smagala-Potts, spokesperson for Ripley Entertainment, the company that owns Ride the Ducks Branson, released a statement Friday regarding a capsized duck boat that left 13 dead, and several more missing. Two boats had been on the water, according to Rader, one of which returned safely. He described the rescue effort as "outstanding".
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.
Four more bodies have been found after an amphibious "duck boat" capsized at a lake in Missouri, taking the number of dead to 17.
He said it is unknown whether the captain or Ride the Ducks staff checked the forecast prior to going on the lake.
Local authorities opened Branson City Hall on Thursday evening to victims of the incident and relatives of those affected.
The video ends abruptly with the boats still struggling to overcome the waves.
"We did have a severe thunderstorm, not sure if that is the contributing factor", he said.
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"Oh my God, those poor people, oh no!" someone says in the background as the water crashes into the bobbing boats. EMTs arrived before he could administer CPR, he said.
Rader said 31 people were on board the boat, including children.
Branson is about 200 miles southeast of Kansas City and is a popular vacation spot for families and other tourists.
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) - Dive teams are expected to resume the search for five people missing after a tourist boat capsized and sank in a southwestern Missouri lake.
The country-and-western tourist town of Branson, Missouri, mourned Friday for more than a dozen sightseers who were killed when a duck boat capsized and sank in stormy weather in the deadliest such accident in nearly two decades.
The cause of the sinking is under investigation, but officials believe weather played a role. The incident occurred near Table Rock Dam, close to Stone County's border with Taney County. Team will travel Friday morning. National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 miles per hour was measured around 7 p.m. Thursday at Branson Airport. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed inadequate maintenance. "It was having problems through the wind", Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told reporters at a news conference late on Thursday.
Kaitlyn McConnell, a spokeswoman for Cox Branson hospital, where the seven were being treated, said the patients were a mix of adults and children, according to The Springfield News-Leader.
The accident happened amid churning waters and stormy weather.
"It's a warning telling people to take shelter", he said.
Rader said a sheriff's deputy, who was working off-duty security at the Showboat Branson Belle, helped rescue some of the Duck passengers.
The owner of the tour company involved in the fatal duck boat accident said the vessel should've never been in the water because of the rough conditions brought on by a violent storm.
Five college students were killed in 2015 in Seattle when a duck boat collided with a bus.