A duck boat carrying 31 people sank in a storm while they were on Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri, on the evening of Thursday, July 19th.
The boat capsized then sunk to the bottom of the lake, killing 17 people on board, reportedly even small children. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating whether life jackets were on board and used.
Investigators also are looking into whether warnings about the weather were ignored and whether the boat should have been out at all. The U.S. Coast Guard also was helping in the rescue efforts.
The Ride the Ducks Branson tragedy is reported to be the deadliest tourist-related incident in years, with people aged 1 to 70 who perished. Among those who died are the driver of the boat; the captain reportedly survived and was taken to a nearby hospital. It is reported that 14 people survived.
Branson reportedly was under a severe thunderstorm warning issued at 6:30 p.m., about a half hour prior to the boat sinking. The National Weather Service in Springfield, Missouri, about 40 miles north of Branson, predicted winds up to 70 miles per hour Thursday for the area and had issued a severe thunderstorm watch from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. that day. The duck boat, carrying 29 passengers and two crew members, leaves approximately every half hour for a 40-minute ride.
Duck boats are amphibious vessels that travel on both land and water, and are popular among tourists in some cities and have been used since World War II. Following this tragedy, Missouri Governor Mike Parson announced he is considering new regulations of duck boats. Ripley Entertainment Inc., the reported owner of the boats, issued a public statement of condolences to the families involved.
We are Experienced Boat Accident Lawyers
Clifford Law Offices has been representing victims of serious boating and other vehicular accidents for over 30 years. The combined attorneys’ experience at the firm adds up to hundreds of years of personal injury and wrongful death work. A Clifford Law Offices’ boat accident attorney examines the cause of the accident. It can be an issue of machinery failure, manufacturing defects, improper maintenance, driver operation, inattention or inexperience, excessive speed, alcohol use, or environmental hazards or conditions. The law firm also will examine boat accident victims’ losses that include medical expenses, lost wages, future earnings, future medical care, pain and suffering, grief, sorrow and mental suffering, loss of quality of life and other possible damage claims.
If you or a loved one has been affected by a boating accident, contact us at 312-899-9090.