Watch CBS News

"It shouldn't have been in the water," says owner of company involved in deadly boat sinking

Duck boat company owner talks about tragedy
"Shouldn't have been in the water," duck boat company owner says 02:55

Authorities say 17 people are dead after a tour boat carrying 31 people capsized and sank on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, during a powerful storm Thursday. The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of more than 60 mph.  

Jim Pattison Jr., the president of Ripley Entertainment, which owns the duck boat tour company involved in the incident, told "CBS This Morning" on Friday the boat "shouldn't have been in the water."

"I don't have all the details, but to answer your question, no, it shouldn't have been in the water if, if what happened, happened," he said when asked why the tour continued in such rough conditions.

"This business has been operating for 47 years and we've never had an incident like this or anything close to it. To the best of our knowledge – and we don't have a lot of information now – but it was a fast-moving storm that came out of basically nowhere is sort of the verbal analysis I've got," Pattison said. 

Branson, Missouri duck boat accident: 13 dead, 4 still missing 02:22

According to Pattison, the boats do have life jackets on board but passengers are not required to wear them by law.  

"Usually the lake is very placid and it's not a long tour, they go in and kind of around an island and back. We had other boats in the water earlier and it had been a great, sort of calm experience," Pattison said.

He added that the captain of that particular boat had 16 years of experience with the company, Ride the Ducks.

"You know, they have a very good record. So, again, this seems to be sort of almost a micro storm effect of something that no one was expecting to happen the way that it did," Pattison said.

Some of the victims were children. 

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.