Table Rock Lake boating accident: US Army Corps doesn’t regulate boats on lakes

Table Rock Lake.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) – A spokeswoman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the agency has no authority to keep people or boats off of its lakes, even when bad weather approaches.

Seventeen people died Thursday when a Ride the Duck boat capsized in Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri. The accident happened amid churning waters and stormy weather.

Corps of Engineers spokeswoman Laurie Driver says storms tend to blow up quickly in the region of southwestern Missouri and northwestern Arkansas that includes Table Rock, but the agency must rely on people making their own judgments about the safety of setting out on the water.

Driver says Ride the Ducks of Branson has a permit from the corps to operate on the lake.