Nine of the people killed when a Ride the Ducks boat capsized in a Missouri lake were from one family, who were together on an outing in the Ozarks when a storm flooded the amphibious vehicle.
The boat sank late on Thursday afternoon when a thunderstorm swept across Table Rock Lake. Authorities said 17 people drowned as the boat capsized, and on Friday, Missouri Governor Mike Parson reported that nine of those people were from a single family. As USA Today reported, authorities have not yet released the names of all the victims.
The boat sank in 80 feet of water amid high winds from a thunderstorm. There were 31 people onboard at the time the craft capsized, and several of the victims were taken to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The Ride the Ducks boat’s capsizing was captured by amateur video from those in nearby boats, showing the vehicle struggling with high waves and slowly sinking into the water. The boat also doubles as a bus that takes riders on a tour around the Bronson, Missouri, area before traveling into Table Rock Lake.
Jeff and Jennie Carr, who were celebrating their wedding anniversary on a neighboring boat, said they could see the two Ride the Ducks boats struggling in the choppy waters as winds reached 60 miles per hour.
“I see two boats in the water and the waves were just going over the top of the one that sank,” Carr told USA Today. “It was awful. It looked like he was having trouble. He was going right into the waves but the wind was trying to turn him around.”
Authorities are still trying to find the exact reason why the boat sank, and whether those on board used the life jackets on the boat. Some witnesses said the small boats should have never traveled into the water given the conditions and the reports that a violent storm was headed that way.
Duck boats have been involved in a number of other fatal accidents in recent years, including another boat that sank in Arkansas in 1999, killing 11 people. As the Associated Press reported after a fatal accident in Seattle, these deadly incidents have taken place across the country and include accidents both on land and in the water.
Authorities in Missouri have not announced the names or ages of the nine family members killed in the Ride the Ducks boat capsizing.