Coast Guard Raising Duck Boat That Sank In Storm, Killing 17

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The driver died in the sinking. Steve Smith's daughter 14-year-old daughter, Loren Smith, was also on the boat, but survived.

Holloway also said the NTSB is asking for anyone who witnessed or recorded the sinking to contact federal officials at witness@ntsb.gov as investigators seek a more comprehensive understanding of what led to the duck boat's demise.

Meteorologist Elisa Raffa of KOLR-TV in Springfield said in a phone interview Saturday that her station was forecasting the threat of severe weather all morning.

Ripley Entertainment, which owns the duck boat business in Branson, has not responded to questions about Paul's concerns.

CNN asked Ripley President Jim Pattison Jr. on Friday what the crew knew about the thunderstorm warnings when the tour embarked. But when the water filled up the boat, I could no longer see. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn't regulate duck boats because they're amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn't in this case because it's a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one.

The company's website said it was offering to pay for all medical and funeral expenses for victims, to return all personal items from the accident scene and to help with families' travel or accommodations. It sank 40 feet and then rolled to an area 80 feet deep, according to local investigators. "He said, 'Above you are the life jackets, there are three sizes, but you won't need them, '" Coleman said Saturday night.

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Fire Island beaches were closed afterward until further notice, National Park Service spokeswoman Elizabeth Rogers said. Bathers were allowed to return to the water after the lifeguard sighting was confirmed to be a sandbar shark.

More: Sunken Branson duck boat had a video recorder.

Most oversight for the vessels is provided by the Coast Guard, but Hall said the Coast Guard isn't staffed properly to provide the type of strict oversight the boats require.

The storm was part of the same upper-level weather system that produced damaging wind gusts earlier Thursday in Kansas and spawned destructive tornadoes in Iowa.

September 24, 2015: Five college students were killed and more than 70 people injured when a duck boat veered into a charter bus on a bridge above Seattle's Lake Union.

July 23, 2018; Branson, MO, USA; The duck boat that sank last week on Table Rock Lake killing 17 people has been raised from the bottom by crews on Monday, July 23, 2018.

Thursday's sinking in Missouri isn't the first time that trouble with these tour vessels have turned fatal.

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Seventeen of the 31 people aboard the duck boat died, including nine of 11 members of another family. Accidents in and out of the water have marred their popularity and forced some companies to shut down their businesses. Thirteen of the 21 passengers on board died, including three children. The NTSB investigation could take up to a year to complete. The canopies on top of the vessels make it almost impossible to escape if they are tipped over.

The NTSB, which makes non-binding safety recommendations, has urged the removal of canopies from the vehicles to reduce the risk of drowning. Until those changes were made, the board recommended, all canopy roofs should be removed.

He said the firm presented engineering experts who showed how the vehicles were actually engineered to fail in a water emergency, their canopies trapping passengers in their life jackets rather than allowing their escape.

"He said, 'Above you are your life jackets".

I was there when she graduated from high school.

All the people who survived when a duck boat ferrying tourists sank in southern Missouri have been released from a hospital.

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