The 17 victims were aged between 1 and 70 and came from six USA states, authorities said. Rader said at about 10:30 a.m. today that family members of the victims are being notified at the time.
"From what I understand there were life jackets in the duck", Rader said, but he declined to say if passengers were wearing them.
The driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died, but the captain survived, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said.
Seventeen people - including nine people from a single family - drowned after a tourist "duck boat" sank in southeast Missouri, authorities said Friday. He said that while that duck boat carried life vests on board, the investigation was too early to determine if any of the passengers had put them on prior to the vessel submerging.
"I lost all my children, I lost my husband", Coleman told Indianapolis television channel Fox 59 from her hospital bed in Branson.
"We're still working with families and making notifications, so at this time, I'm not giving that information out", he said. Children under 13 are required to wear the life jackets. Two other relatives survived.
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Suzanne Smagala with Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said the company was assisting authorities with the rescue effort. An investigation is now underway. I had asked and demanded that they be banned in 2010, and the very thing that we complained about is the very reason why they killed 17 people yesterday.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the US Coast Guard will investigated the accident. Some of the evidence will be taken back to Washington, D.C., for further analysis, according to an NTSB representative. He's dismayed by what happened in Branson and couldn't sleep after hearing about the incident. The company said it also added 365-degree video coverage and a second employee to narrate tours.
"I felt the water temperature raise to warm", she said.
A National Weather Service station in Springfield, 40 miles from Branson, issued a severe thunderstorm watch on Thursday evening shortly before the incident, with possible wind speeds of up to 75mph.
Video footage captured from the lakeshore showed two amphibious vessels, known as duck boats for their ability to operate on land and water, struggling to move through the waves. The accident happened amid churning waters and stormy weather.
The boat, he told U.S. media, "shouldn't have been in the water" due to the weather.
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Passengers on a nearby boat described the chaos as the winds picked up and the water turned rough.
Coast Guard Petty Officer Lora Ratliff says the Coast Guard will be in charge of the Branson Duck boat investigation as the Coast Guard is in charge of all investigations on US waterways.
The trial attorney involved in that case said there's no reason why regulators haven't addressed a lethal design problem with these boats. Personally, I just thought it was little bit of wind and rain.
Duck vehicles, inspired by watercraft used in the D-Day landing in World War II, are used on sightseeing tours around the world and have been involved in a number of fatal and non-fatal accidents on land and in the water in the past two decades, with 26 deaths in the past 20 years, not counting those who have died in Missouri. "This incident has deeply affected all of us".
"Words can not convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking", it said.
Commenting on the rescue operation, he said: "Emergency responders and civilian rescuers helped avert an even worse tragedy as people rushed to help in extremely risky conditions". "This is Branson. This is who we are. Once we confirm the business is operating again, we intend to restore".
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President Donald Trump also tweeted his condolences on Friday morning. He wrote, "My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the bad boat accident which just took place in Missouri". He wrote Friday on Twitter, "Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!"