Sheriff: 8 people dead after Missouri tourist boat accident

A duck boat is seen at Table Rock Lake in Branson Missouri U.S

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Seventeen people were killed after a duck boat packed with tourists capsized in high winds on a southwest Missouri lake.

The bodies of all the missing people have now been accounted for and recovered.

The US Coast Guard will conduct an investigation, said Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is assisting.

"I hope it won't tarnish Branson", she said with tears in her eyes.

Rescue personnel are seen after an amphibious
Rescue personnel are seen after an amphibious “duck boat” capsized and sank

At the time, he said, the water seemed calm, and no one was anxious about the weather.

The crew on the first boat was able to pull two people from the waves, Cox said: "It was all hands on deck, we did everything we could". They were called Duck boats for short. He says he saw a woman holding on for "dear life" to one of the riverboat's paddles before being rescued.

Thursday night, at least 13 people, including children, died after a boat carrying tourists capsized and sank on a lake during a thunderstorm in Branson, Missouri, authorities in that state said Friday.

At the time of the accident, winds reached around 65mph (104 km/h), according to the National Weather Service. Winds at the time were blowing as hard as 65 miles per hour (105 kph), according to the National Weather Service. Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were on the boat when it capsized. Seven of the 14 survivors were hurt when the vessel went down. Two of the four adults were in critical condition while the others were in for minor injuries.

A man who saw the incident unfold from a nearby boat said the storm had appeared suddenly.

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The company that builds ducks, Ride the Ducks International LLC, agreed in 2016 to pay a $1 million fine after one of the vehicles collided with a bus in Seattle, killing five international students.

The captain of the amphibious boat survived, but the driver did not. One of the duck boats returned to shore safely, but the other sank. Duck boats, which can travel on land and in water, have been involved in other deadly incidents in the past. Critics argued that part of the problem is that too many agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements.

Amphibious vessels like the duck boat became popular during World War II, and have since become popular with tourists.

They were never designed for civilian use.

"Debris was flying everywhere", Allison Lester said in an interview Friday with ABC's "Good Morning America". "She was unconscious. I was about ready to start CPR and the EMT did show up at that time". The boat landed upright on its wheels, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said. The warning mentioned both locations.

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"It's important that we find out for sure what events did occur", Governor Michael Parson said at a Friday morning news conference.

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

The names of the dead were not immediately released. Dive teams from several law enforcement agencies assisted in the effort.

Ride the Ducks Branson said it was deeply saddened and that the business would be closed "while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community". She said this was the ride's only accident in more than 40 years of operation.

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