BRANSON, Mo. - Authorities say divers have found the remaining four bodies after a duck boat carrying tourists capsized in southwest Missouri, bringing the death toll to 17.
All missing people appeared to have been accounted for. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader confirmed the total number of fatalities just after 10:15 a.m. Friday.
Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace says 14 others survived, but that seven were injured.
The boat’s captain survived, but its driver did not, according to Sheriff Rader.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and The Stone County, Missouri Sheriff Departement held a press conference Friday in Branson, Missouri.
“It’s been a long night, been a very trying night,” Rader told reporters Friday morning. He implied authorities did not expect to find those four missing people alive, saying authorities were in “recovery mode for the bodies were still missing.”
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has issued an executive order for all flags of the United States to be flown at half-staff as a mark of respect for the deceased. He has asked for all Missourian's thoughts and prayers for everyone who was involved in this tragedy.
First responders across southwest Missouri were called to the scene of a reported "mass casualty incident" at Table Rock Lake on Thursday after several people were thrown into the water. By 11:30 p.m., officials confirmed 11 people died as a result of the boating accident, with five people still missing.
According to our sister station Fox 4 News, Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader confirmed 31 people, including children, were on a duck boat when it crashed and sank around 7 p.m. near the Branson Belle dock.
The sheriff said an off-duty deputy had been on the boat when it went under and credited him with rescuing some of the boat's passengers. The incident occurred as a line of thunderstorms moved through the area.
The CoxHealth Medical Center said it was treating six patients from the incident, three of whom were under the age of 18.
The boat was owned and operated by Ride the Ducks Branson.