Photo credit: AP

A duck boat that was carrying tourists on Table Rock Lake in Branson, MO capsized and sank Thursday evening after it was hit with a thunderstorm during its navigation. 17 people, including children, died as a result of the accident. Seven of the 14 survivors were injured and taken to nearby hospitals. Two of them are being treated for critical injuries.

Officials believe the stormy weather is what contributed to the boat capsizing. Another boat on the lake during the time of the storm made it safely back to shore. The National Weather Service issued a severe thunderstorm warning for the Branson area early Thursday evening. Winds were to recorded to have reached 60 mph that night.

An off- duty sheriff’s deputy helped rescue people once the boat capsized. Several dive teams in the area also assisted with the effort. The National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Branson this morning to start the investigation.

Ride the Ducks in Branson states that this was the tour’s only accident in more than 40 years of operation.

Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers have handled thousands of maritime injury cases including the Deepwater Horizon disaster and El Faro.  If you were injured in a maritime accident, please feel free to contact Maintenance and Cure, a part of Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers, at 713-364-0723 for a free consultation with one of our maritime lawyers today!