At least 11 people have been killed after an amphibious “duck boat” sank on a lake in Missouri. The tourist vessel was carrying approximately 30 people on Table Rock Lake when it got into difficulty.
Divers are still searching the lake for five people who are still missing. Seven others were rushed to hospital, with two of them being treated for serious injuries.
Terrifying footage taken from a nearby show boat reveals a pair of duck boats struggling in the treacherous conditions, as onlookers begin to panic that they are going to sink. “They should have never came out here with them things,” one bystander can be heard saying. “That duck, I don’t think he’s gonna make it back,” another adds.
“If there’s kids on there, those poor babies,” one woman notes. “They’re all hanging on for dear life in there, you know it.”
As the video comes to an end, you can see the boat begin to sink, as the nose of the craft submerges beneath the heaving waves. “It’s going under,” someone says, as a member of staff on the show boat can be heard desperately attempting to summon help.
“Crew! Anybody who can read me. I need a rope on the bow, and one on the starboard side,” he shouts.
The woman filming the video concludes: “One of the ducks sank and everybody onboard here is trying to get them out of the water.”
It is absolutely devastating to think of the horror those on board would be experiencing at that moment.
WOW – video captures duck tour boat sinking in Missouri w/31 people on board. 11 people are dead, including children, 5 people are still missing in the lake and 7 are in the hospital. You can see there was terrible weather. A severe thunderstorm warning was issued 30 mins before. pic.twitter.com/w8T17pE37B
— Erica Rakow (@EricaRakow) July 20, 2018
Emergency Services were immediately called to the scene. “Seven patients [are in] the hospital and we do have some people still missing. So this is going to be an all night, into tomorrow [search],” Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader told reporters about 9.30pm.
Another heart-thumping piece of footage was obtained by KYTV, taken from onboard the second duck boat as it struggled to escape the stormy waters.
NEW VIDEO: This is video from the second duck boat that was also out on the water sent to us by Paul. He and family are visiting from Texas.
This boat made it back safely…but it shows how wild the lake conditions were. pic.twitter.com/fVpKuWDEy6
— Andrew Havranek KY3 (@AndrewHavKY3) July 20, 2018
Rader later confirmed that there were children among the dead. He said that weather conditions on the lake began to worsen rapidly as a series of thunderstorms rolled through the area. “There’s nothing to slow down winds in an open area,” he added.
“There was some heavy wind. It was having problems through the wind,” Mr Rader further explained, according to the BBC. “They were coming back toward land. There was actually two ducks. The first one made it out. The second one didn’t.”
Crews from multiple agencies are on scene of an MCI “Mass Casualty Incident” “tourist type boat involved” this is on Table Rock Lake, Stone County, Branson Missouri. Taney County assisting. Several patients transported… https://t.co/Yzp0KUgqT9
— SouthernStoneFire (@StoneCountyFire) July 20, 2018
According to CNN, an off-duty deputy who helped rescue many of those stricken out on the lake noted that lifejackets were available on board, though he didn’t comment on whether victims were wearing them.
BREAKING: This is video of what the waves were like on Table Rock Lake in Missouri tonight when the duck boat capsized. Man in this video says, “Never quite seen it this bad. Boats can’t get in. Boats can’t get out.” (Credit: Lakeside Resort) pic.twitter.com/HxB8aY2u0a
— Mike Saccone (@mikesacconetv) July 20, 2018
Suzanne Smagala, of Ripley Entertainment, the company that owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said this was the first accident involving the duck boats for some 40 years. With that being said, duck boats have been involved in several fatal incidents across the world in recent years. In 2015, a Seattle duck boat collided with a bus, killing five college students. In 2002 four were killed when a duck boat sank in the Ottawa river. In 2016, a woman was killed when her motorcycle was struck by a duck boat in Boston.
Scrolling through tweets about the “Ride the Ducks” boat capsizing. Tragic. Heartbreaking. Praying.
Also struck by how many immediately try to personalize a tragedy. “I have been on those boats.” “I go to Table Rock Lake.” “I was in Branson.” An odd response to tragedy IMO.
— Kyle Gangel (@kgangel_20) July 20, 2018
President Trump tweeted his condolences after hearing of the accident. “May God be with you all,” he wrote.
My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident which just took place in Missouri. Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 20, 2018
Pray for all the families of the victims, and ask that the Lord would be with those who were injured in this tragic incident.