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Missouri Duck Boat capsizes and kills 17 people

Seventeen people are dead – including children – after sinking Thursday at Ennis Boat in Missouri, Southern Stone County's Fire Protection District spokesman Eric Nielsen rold CNN.

The bodies of all missing persons have now been taken into account. Fourteen others survived, authorities said.

[Original story, published at 11:55 a.m. ET]

An amphibious sightseeing boat of 31 people sank on Thursday evening in a raging storm on a southwestern Missouri lake, killing at least 13 people – (19659004) The Ride the Ducks Branson Duck boat capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake near Branson during a storm that "came from nowhere," said Jim Pattison Jr., president of the company's parent company

  video showing the last moments before the duck boat

Divers resumed the search for the missing Friday morning, but it does not look very good to survive, "said Missouri Governor Mike Parson on CNN's" New Day. "

At the moment, it's a recovery, "said Parson.

Fourteen people survived with passengers and laborers at the nearby Branson Belle showboat to rescue them, Stone County Sheriff Dou" Un The rescuer was a deputy sheriff on the Branson Belle who "jumped and helped," Rader said.

  A video taken from a nearby ship shows one of the two fighting duck boats before the sinking.

Jennie Phillips-Hudson Carr's video, taken from the Branson Belle, showed at least three ships on the lake at the time, including two duck boats rocking and tilting to one side as waves turned into massive waves.

Strong wind whipped waves head-on on the boats. One of the duck boats safely returned to shore, but the other sank

"Oh my god, these poor people, oh no!" someone says on the video how the water crashes into the smaller boats.

"If there are children, these poor babies," says a female voice.

Among the fatalities was the driver Robert "Bob" Williams, said his widow Judy Williams.

The boat's captain, His Name, was not released immediately, was among the survivors and was taken to hospital, said Pattison, president of Ripley Entertainment Inc.

Rader, the sheriff, said life jackets were on the boat, but he does not know if people wore them.

The US Coast Guard is conducting an investigation, said Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who assists. A team from the National Transportation Safety Board will travel to work site on Friday morning

Strong storm hit Branson

Branson was under heavy thunderstorm warning shortly after 6:30 pm. (19.30 ET), about half an hour before the boat capsized. Pattison said he did not know when the boat left the dock.

  Forces patrol on Friday afternoon near the spot where the duck boat sank into Table Rock Lake.

Authorities received the first emergency call on the sinking at 7:09 am, Rader said.

There have been reports of damage in Stone County, including trees and structural damage, said CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward. The highest gust of wind reported in this area was 63 miles per hour.

The storm was part of the same weather system that produced destructive tornadoes on Thursday in Iowa, Missouri's northernmost neighbor.
27 reported tornadoes breaching Iowa

Pattison said he believed it was quiet when the duck boat went into the water.

"It's half way back when … the waves were rising and then apparently flooding the boat," he said Friday morning.

Showboat crew and passengers struggling to help

Passengers on the Branson Belle, Trent Behr and his girlfriend, Allison Lester, described what they saw when they arrived on ABCs' good Friday Morning "Appeared America" ​​

Lester said the weather had been fine on Thursday, but when she and Behr boarded the boat, "the wind is really bad and debris flying everywhere," she said.

While she was After visiting the dinner boat, the couple looked out the window and saw the ducks battling in the water.

"It was maybe two minutes later, and we heard the captain really say that the boat was down or the boat was sinking," Behr said.

Behr said he and other passengers on the dinner boat helped pull an unconscious woman out of the water, EMTs came in before he could administer CPR, he said.

Another witness, Tony Burkhart, said CNN, however, that he intended to climb the Branson Belle, decided against it when the wind caught.

After walking out in one He and seeing Branson Belle's crew try to gather all the lifesavers on board and throw them at those who were in the water after the duck boat capsized, Burkhart said

& # 39; This should never end like this & # 39;

Ripley Entertainment said it recently acquired the boat company. The boat had a captain and a driver with a commercial license, he said.

"Obviously we should not be out in bad weather," Pattison said. The company has been operating for 47 years without such incidents, he said.

When asked if the passengers and two crew members had time to put on life-jackets, Pattison said, "We do not know yet."

"People should be able to go on a trip and have a good time, it should never end like that – there is not much else you can say," he said when asked if he has a message for relatives of those who were on board, land and water, and are popular with tourists in big cities. The history of the boats goes back to the Second World War, when such ships were a common sight because of their versatility.

Driver was "the quietest mind one could ever experience"

Williams, the driver, was a caring man who was kind to everyone, his widow CNN said.

"He would talk to anyone, he influenced many lives, he would give up his life for someone," she said on Friday in an emotional telephone interview. "That's the kind of man Robert was, is."

His grandson, Victor Richardson, told CNN, "He was a God-fearing man, he was very modest, he was the calmest mind you could ever meet." 19659002] Bob and Judy Williams were married for more than 30 years and lived according to their grandson in Branson [194559002]

"Break Our Hearts"

Ride the Ducks Branson said it was deeply distressed and that business "while we support the investigation and allow time to mourn for the families and the community."

"Words can not express how deeply our hearts break," it said in a statement on its website. "We will continue to do everything we can to help the families and authorities involved in the search and rescue."

Pastor Parson asked for prayers for first responders and those involved in the incident

The NTSB, on Twitter, sought public help for photos or videos of sinking.

Branson, a popular family vacation destination, is located about 200 miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri.

CNN's Dakin Andone, Amanda Watts, Joe Sutton, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Deanna Hackney, Steve Almasy and Sheena Jones all contributed to the report.

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