BRANSON, MO (AP) – More than half of the 17 people killed during the sinking of a tourist boat on a Branson lake belonged to the same family of Indiana , and they probably would not have been, but Trish Beck of Kansas City, Missouri, had seen the family line up. An employee told them that their tickets were for another place of embarkation – and then reassigned them to the unfortunate boat, she said.
The distressed community, known for its shows and entertainment, held two vigils Friday night. About 300 people gathered in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks of Branson, and others cried in a church, singing "Amazing Grace" in both places.
On Friday, the Stone County Sheriff's Department released a list of people killed. In addition to the Indiana family, five people came from Missouri, two from Arkansas and one from Illinois
The Indiana family members all had the same name: Coleman: Ervin, 76; Horace, 70; Belinda, 69 years old; Angela, 45 years old; Glenn, 40; Reece, 9; Evan, 7 years old; Maxwell, 2; and Arya, 1.
The other eight persons:
- William Asher, 69, Missouri
- Rosemarie Hamann, 68, Missouri
- William Bright, 65, Missouri
- Janice Bright, 63 years old, Missouri  Leslie Dennison, 64, Illinois
- Steve Smith, 53, Arkansas
- Lance Smith, 15, Arkansas
- Bob Williams, 73, the operator of the boat, Missouri
Reverend Zachary Klein, speaking at the meeting at the duck company, said that he had no words of comfort to offer to the families of the victims "because". there are simply no words to comfort them. "
Mayor Karen Best says that Branson is typically a city of smiles … but today we cry and we cry. "
The Table Rock Lake accident, near Branson, was the deadliest accident of its kind in nearly two decades." The federal and state investigators were trying to determine what is went on to send the boat known as the duck boat to his demise.A first assessment blamed storms and winds that were approaching the force of hurricanes, but it was not clear why the amphibious vehicle was safe. even ventured into the water.
The National Weather Service in Springfield, about 40 miles north of Branson. Watch its immediate area on Thursday, saying the conditions were ripe for winds of 70 mph. He followed at 6:32 pm with a severe thunderstorm warning for three counties that included Branson and the lake.The warning mentioned both locations.The boat came down about 40 minutes later, shortly after 7 pm
"When we issue a warned "That means taking action," said meteorologist Kelsey Angle.
A full investigation was underway with the assistance of the Coast Guard. the National Transportation Safety Board. Stone County Sheriff, Doug Rader, urged anyone with a video or photos of the accident to contact the authorities.
The agencies informed the two Missouri Senators of the accident. Democrat Claire McCaskill said she would study possible "legislative solutions", while Republican Roy Blunt called it "a tragedy that should never have happened".
Suzanne Smagala with Ripley Entertainment, owner of Ride the Ducks in Branson, said assisting authorities. She said it was the only accident of the company in more than 40 years of operation.
Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were on board for a pleasure cruise. Seven of the 14 survivors were injured when the ship fell. The captain survived, the authorities said.
Among the wounded was 14 year old Loren Smith of Osceola, Arkansas. His father, Steve Smith, retired maths teacher, and his brother died in the accident. Loren suffered a concussion
"It's a difficult thing," said Steve Smith's father, Carroll Smith, of having lost his only child and his only grandson. "It's a very difficult day."
Brayden Malaske, of Harrah, Oklahoma, boarded a replica of a 19th-century paddle steamer known as Branson Belle on the same lake just before the storm hits
. he said, the water seemed calm, and no one was worried about the weather.
"But he suddenly became very dark," he recalls.
In a short video taken by Malaske from the Belle Bridge, one can see the duck wallowing through the lake whirling and flapping, with water a few inches from its windows . Dark, rolling waves crush on the front. The images end before the boat capsizes.
Later, people on the Malaske boat saw a duck boat passenger "hooked for darling life" at the Belle paddlewheel. as "Captain Bob", "was a great ambassador for Branson."
"He was at every event, he knew everyone, he always promoted Branson," Best said.
A family survivor who lost nine parents said the captain told the passengers not to disturb the lifejackets. the only survivors among 11 family members aboard the boat. She said that she lost all her children, but she did not say how many.
Coleman said that the captain had told passengers that they would not need life jackets. At the time of the accident, "it was too late."
An email requesting Ripley Entertainment's comment about Coleman's comment was not immediately returned.
Named for their ability to travel on land and in the water, ducks have been involved in other serious accidents in the past, including the deaths of more than 40 people since 1999.
Five students were killed in Seattle in 2015 when a duck collided with a bus. Thirteen people died in 1999 when a boat sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas.
"Ducks are deadly traps," said Andrew Duffy, a lawyer with the Philadelphia law firm. "They are not fit for water or land because they are half car and half boat."
Security advocates sought improvements and complained that too many agencies regulate boats with varying security requirements. for the military, especially for transporting troops and supplies in the Second World War. They were later modified for use as touring vehicles
The Ride the Ducks tour begins in downtown Branson, where vehicles take passengers on tour while the captain makes jokes and points of reference. Eventually, the boats move towards the lake and slowly enter the water with a small splash.
After a few minutes on the water, the vehicles return to shore and to their base, which includes a store selling candies and souvenirs.
The boat sank in 40 feet of water and rolled on its wheels in a deeper area with 80 feet of water
Table Rock Lake, east of Branson, was created in the late 1950s when the Corps of Army Engineers built a dam on the White River to provide hydropower to the Ozarks.
Hannah Grabenstein, Deputy Press Editor, Branson; Jim Salter in St. Louis; Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Missouri; and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; and Rhonda Shafner, an AP researcher in New York, contributed to this report.