Emergency vehicles gather near Table Rock Lake where an amphibious tourist vehicle sank with 31 people on board. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader has confirmed there are several casualties.

The death toll has reached 17 from a tourist boat that sank in Table Rock Lake Thursday evening. Everyone is accounted for.

Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace confirmed that four more bodies had been recovered Friday morning, bringing the number of dead to 17.Seventeen of the 31 passengers on the amphibious vehicle known as a Duck, have been accounted for.

Previous story:

The Stone County Sheriff confirmed that at least 11 people are dead after an amphibious boat attraction sank in Table Rock Lake Thursday with several people on board.

According to Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader, at approximately 7 p.m., a Branson tour vehicle that carries passengers on land and in the water, turned over in Table Rock Lake near the vicinity of the Showboat Branson Belle and sunk.

As of 11:30 p.m. Thursday, Rader said at least 11 people died. At least five were still missing. A search and rescue operation had been called off for the night. He said there were 31 people on the vehicle when it sank.

On its Facebook site, Southern Stone County Fire Protection District is referring to the event as a "mass casualty incident."

Rader said seven people also were taken to a hospital.

He confirmed there were children on the boat, but not whether any of them were among the deceased.

Rader said he believes the incident was storm-related.

According to a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, a heavy storm reached Stone and Taney counties at 6:30 p.m. and reached Table Rock Dam at about 7 p.m. The incident occurred near Table Rock Dam, close to Stone County's border with Taney County. The service had predicted wind gusts of 60-70 mph, but a meteorologist could not immediately confirm how strong the winds had gotten.

The incident happened near where the vehicles enter and exit the water.

Rader said a sheriff's deputy, who was working off-duty security at the Showboat Branson Belle, helped rescue some of the Duck passengers.

The National Weather Service had predicted wind gusts of 60-70 mph.

At about 10:15 p.m. Thursday, CoxHealth reported that Cox Medical Center Branson was treating eight patients, two of them in critical condition. About 45 minutes earlier, the hospital system reported that three of their patients were under 18, but all of their injuries were minor.

CoxHealth also reported that the American Red Cross had arrived at Cox Medical Center Branson to assist families of the tragedy.

Branson City Hall was also open for those with missing family members. City Communications Manager Melody Pettit sent out the following statement: "The City of Branson has opened City Hall for some of the families involved in the boat incident on Table Rock Lake. Concerned family members can call (417) 337-8515. We have people standing by to help. Please be patient with us during this difficult time. Thank you."

The Branson Tri-Lakes News will have more information as it becomes available.

(7) comments


as a past resident of the branson area we find this news very sad. our prayers go to the city and families. leo and carol hallett


Absolutely horrific to watch the video shot from the showboat as they watched the two Duck boats struggling, while people on the showboat are eating and socializing and doing nothing to help the Duck boats. I didn't hear anyone say we need to get this boat over to them and help them, just oh those poor people. What a tragedy.


I live in Branson and Met some of the crew on The Bell and some of the crew Jumped in with life Jackets on to help but the water was so ruff that they had a hard time !! And it is sad but this video shows how in reality how bad the situation was !


A frequent Branson visitor, my heart is broken for all involved. The video clip doesn't let us know, but can someone please, please confirm that SOMEONE, ANYONE made a call for help rather than just sit and eat while they discussed how horrible was the tragedy unfolding outside their window? People continue to damn this woman for doing nothing, but I can't help but to feel that this (like eyewitnesses at many tragic moments) was just a tiny slice of reporting.


I live in Branson and Met some of the crew on The Bell and some of the crew Jumped in with life Jackets on to help but the water was so ruff that they had a hard time !! And it is sad but this video shows how in reality how bad the situation was !


Our hearts and Prayers go out to all affected. We patiently await any call for assistance we can render.


A similar event happened to my wife, her brother (from St. Louis) myself and his kids also from St. Louis. About this time of the month in July of 1995 we were caught in a storm coming across the open area across from Table Rock Dam. we had been fishing just after the rip rap and in front of the buoy cable across the dam face. The weather came up just that fast and waves came across the open lake. we started to get away as the other boats had done, of course the boat motor quit and before I could get fully turned into the wave with the trolling motor a 6 to 10 foot wave came across the lake and flipped us upside down there in the deepest part of the lake. we all went under but the boat was fiber glass and floated upside down.
People yelled at us from the Dewey Short center ( the old one) we could not get there as we were being blown past it and past the new Branson Belle, we were able to get the life jackets out from under the boat and get them on. The boat was upside down but the running lights stayed on the entire time we were in the water. We were blown clear down to the Poverty Point Peninsula we were on the Kamp Kannacut side where there docks are. The people that saw us turn over had called 911 for us but the Water Patrol was handling a dock broke loose at Kimberling City I think and a women died from carbon monoxide poisoning from under a houseboat over there by KC someplace. Another poor family tragedy during vacation. we got out of the water there at the docks after 4 hours or so in the water we did not loose any one thank the Good Lord, and it just so happened that a couple of camp counselors from Kannacut were there to look at the boats after that storm, they were great and helped us back to our car on the other side at the Poverty Point launch ramp.
All this to the people on the duck and those trying to help, so sorry for your loss you know that people would have helped more if time allowed, these things happen so fast that your mind goes numb and slows down to the point of almost not working for awhile.
Pray to Jesus that you can live thru this tragedy.
I called Capt. Haupt of the Water Patrol that morning and he thought we were the luckiest people he knew at that time. I feel that way to.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.