Missouri: Hundreds at vigils mourn victims of Branson's duck boat accident

People pray around a van believed to belong to victims of a duck boat accident in the parking lot of the business running the boat tours Friday

"On our way walking out of the gift/ticket shop area we saw the crew of the Branson Belle scrambling to gather all the life preservers on board and tossing them to those who were in the water after the duck boat capsized", he said.

Nine members of the same family were among the 17 people that died in the "heart-breaking" duck boat tragedy in Missouri, the state's governor said Friday.

Missouri law requires all children to wear life jackets on boats and all recreational watercraft users "to wear life jackets anytime they are underway".

Coleman said her husband would "want the world to know" that when they were in the water, the captain of the vehicle told them not to put their life jackets on, an action she believed had cost lives.

An email seeking comment from a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, which owns the Ride the Ducks boat, was not immediately returned.

Meteorologist Jason Schaumann said gusts up to 65mph were recorded around the time the boat capsized and that a severe thunder warning had been issued.

"When I saw the weather rolling in, we made a decision to leave", Burkhart said, adding that he had already purchased tickets for the duck boat trip Friday morning. Coleman said her in-laws were also there.

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.

Death Toll Rises To 17 In Fatal Boat Accident In Missouri

The boats were originally designed for the military, specifically to transport troops and supplies in World War Two. DUKW boats - commonly called Ducks - were built to quickly deliver cargo from ships at sea directly to the shore, driving onto the beach.

Mongeluzzi said there have been as many as 40 deaths involving duck boats since 1999.

July 16, 2003: Sixty-three-year-old Rosemary Hamelburg fell backward off a duck boat onto a parking lot while taking a photo and died four days later.

Like the other boat, they were a few minutes into their ride when high winds and three-foot waves started pounding the enclosed vessel.

9 a.m. A small memorial was placed outside the Ride the Ducks business.

As for the survivors, four patients were still in the hospital Friday evening, including two adults in critical condition. He said he and his wife decided not to take the tour because of the weather. "This incident has deeply affected all of us", Smagala-Potts said.

At one point, Behr said he and other passengers on the dinner boat helped pull an unconscious woman from the water. "But for the past 16, 17, 18 hours, we've been a town of tears and a town of comfort, and just making sure that we can give them everything they need". "Part way through coming back is when the waves picked up and swamped the boat", Pattison told CNN via phone. "My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the bad boat accident which just took place in Missouri", President Trump said in a tweet.

He said his Sea Tow boats were helping with crowd control near the site where the Duck boat capsized a short distance behind the Showboat Branson Belle, which was tied to its dock.

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