Coast Guard Brings Up Branson Duck Boat

Monday, July 23rd 2018, 4:02 am
By: Joseph Holloway

The U.S. Coast Guard in Branson, Missouri, and the Missouri Highway Patrol retrieved the duck boat that capsized and sank late last week, killing 17 people.

The duck boat was on the bottom of Table Rock Lake in about 80 feet of water. The Coast Guard and Missouri Highway Patrol divers stabilized the boat and had it up in about an hour, which was faster than they first anticipated.

They say they worked with Ride the Ducks to coordinate the retrieval of the sunken vessel, known as Stretch Duck 7.

Captain Scott Stoermer said the recovery process went well and they did not run into any big obstacles.

"An operation like this does not happen without a great deal of planning and coordination. We're grateful for that, and for all the agencies that participated. I think it is that planning that led to such a smooth operation," Stoermer said.

7/20/2018 Related Story: Branson Community Pulls Together Following Tragic Boat Accident

Life jackets floated up to the surface as the boat was hauled up. Authorities said 17 people died on Table Rock Lake when the boat went down in stormy weather and none of the 31 people onboard were wearing life jackets.

7/21/2018 Related Story: Officials Release Names Of Those Lost In Duck Boat Accident

The Coast Guard says Ride the Ducks' general operations is under investigation but no one was required to wear a life jacket.

"The regulations require that personal flotation devices be on board for all passengers and the decision to wear those PFDs is made as an operational decision by the captain onboard," Stoermer said.

The NTSB will keep the boat in a secure facility as it's being inspected.