Coast Guard Raises Duck Boat That Sank In Storm, Killing 17
BRANSON, Mo. (CBSNewYork/AP) — The duck boat that capsized and sank last week on a sightseeing cruise was raised from a Missouri lake Monday, more than three days after the accident that killed 17 people near the tourist town of Branson.
The boat , which was submerged in 80 feet of water, went down Thursday evening after a sudden thunderstorm generated near-hurricane strength winds.
Divers attached a sling to the boat, then raised the vessel. Once it was brought to the surface, it was drained, Coast Guard Capt. Scott Stoermer told reporters.
The vessel will be loaded onto a vehicle and transported to a facility where the National Transportation Safety Board will take custody of it, Stoermer said.
Nine of the people who died belonged to one Indiana family. Others killed came from Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois.
Divers already have recovered a video-recording device that was aboard the boat, although it's unclear whether it was working when the boat capsized or whether any data can be retrieved. The recorder is headed to the National Transportation Safety Board lab in Washington, D.C.
Keith Holloway, an NTSB spokesman, said it was unclear what the recorder captured, including whether it recorded audio.
The NTSB also wants to know what the captain knew about the forecasted weather and when he knew it.
"The real objective is going to be to find out what kind of information they had on board when they made the decision to go out," said Dr. Earl Weener with the NTSB.
Steve Paul, owner of the Test Drive Technologies inspection service in the St. Louis area, has said he issued a written report in August 2017 for Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, after inspecting two dozen boats. In the report, he explained why the vessels' engines — and pumps that remove water from their hulls — might fail in inclement weather.
Paul said he won't know if the boat that sank is one that he inspected until it has been recovered from the lake.
Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, hasn't responded to questions about Paul's concerns.
Suzanne Smagala with Ripley Entertainment, said the company is assisting authorities with the rescue effort and that the accident last week was the company's first in more than 40 years of operation in Branson.
The Missouri attorney general says there state highway patrol is also investigating to see if there was any criminal negligence, but so far no charges have been filed.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
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