Breaking News
More () »

Volunteers 'took immediate action' to rescue Missouri duck boat crash survivors

The owner of a marina closest to the accident and 20 volunteers quickly jumped into five boats to help.
Credit: Nathan Papes, Springfield News-Leader via USA TODAY Network
Rescue boats are seen on July 20, 2018 at Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo.

BRANSON, Mo — After a dangerous storm hit Table Rock Lake before dusk Thursday, word spread quickly that a tourist boat had capsized near the Showboat Branson Belle.

The overturned boat was not far from State Park Marina, the closest marina to Branson.

Pat Cox, owner of the marina off Highway 165, said store manager Roger Carpenter and 20 other volunteers grabbed safety equipment and jumped into five boats to respond to the area.

"We took immediate action," Cox said.

Cox said volunteers were able to find and rescue two individuals in the water and found three bodies. He said none were children.

"Our store manager, Roger, was the quickest to act," he said. Cox said he spoke out to thank the employees and volunteers who were quick to move.

Credit: News-Leader file
State Park Marina is just off Highway 65 near Branson. It serves Table Rock Lake.

The Ride the Ducks attraction in Branson, owned by Ripley Entertainment, carries passengers on trips into Table Rock Lake on repurposed amphibious military vehicles. They can be driven on land and function as boats in the water.

Cox said the Ride The Ducks vehicles enter the water near the Showboat Branson Belle. A schedule online showed the tours were expected to depart every 30 minutes from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"I suspect, as the storm came in, it was trying to get back to shore," he said.

A storm hit Table Rock Lake about 7 p.m. Thursday, bringing with it severe wind gusts. Cox said the State Park Marina did not sustain any damage, but there were power outages nearby.

Cox said individuals using the marina at the time were ushered to a safe area. "The storm hit and my staff did a wonderful job of taking care of customers."

Before You Leave, Check This Out