The Ride the Ducks Branson boat had 31 people aboard when the storm swept in Thursday evening at Table Rock Lake near Branson, officials said. Central time. Seven others are in the hospital with various injuries, and all other passengers and crew are accounted for. The Missouri Highway Patrol Dive Team began working to recover the missing bodies on Friday, according to Ozarks First.
Rader said the incident was caused by heavy winds and the tour boat had been making its way to land when it capsized. Two boats had been on the water, according to Rader, one of which returned safely.
"Oh my gosh, oh no", a woman is heard saying in the background of the video. "The wind really picked up bad and debris was flying everywhere", she said.
"It's important that we find out for sure what events did occur", Governor Michael Parson said at a Friday morning news conference.
One of the boats made it to shore but the other was driven back by the wind and gradually swamped.
At about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, CoxHealth reported that Cox Medical Center Branson was treating eight patients, two of them in critical condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board was sending investigators to the scene on Friday, the agency said on Twitter.
Amphibious vehicles are popular with tourists but have been involved in a number of fatal accidents.
National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Lindenberg says the agency had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Branson area, and winds reached speeds of more than 60 miles per hour. Smagala added this was the Branson tour's only accident in more than 40 years of operation. It appeared there were life jackets on board, Rader said, but it was not yet clear how many people were wearing them.
In 2010, two Hungarian tourists died in Philadelphia when a barge hit a Duck boat on the Delaware River. In other accidents, passengers have said getting the life preservers on has been hard.
"We had a line of very strong thunderstorms that caused 74 miles per hour winds here in Springfield", he told the newspaper, noting that winds were likely stronger on the lake.
Severe weather warnings are typically sent to phones for tornadoes, flash floods or hurricanes, but those alerts are not issued for thunderstorm warnings.
On September 24, 2015, five North Seattle College global students died when the a duck boat collided with the bus they were riding.
Suzanne Smagala-Potts of Ride the Ducks Branson, the company involved in the accident, said in a statement, "We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident".
The mayor identified the crew member driving the boat as Bob Williams, known informally as "Captain Bob".
The vehicles are based off a military design first used during World War II.
After the 1999 incident, advocates pushed for safety improvements and even suggested banning the vehicles entirely, but accidents continued.
"You know, they have a very good record", he added about the Ride the Ducks company.
Duck boats are also hard to regulate on a national level because cities and states have varying safety requirements.