When tragedy struck and 17 people were killed in the sinking of an amphibious boat at Table Rock Lake on Thursday, Parson traveled to the area, spending Friday meeting with survivors, victims’ relatives, rescuers, and emergency responders.
“What happened here last night was a heart-breaking tragedy, and we must all work together to support the victims and their families,” Gov. Parson said. “The courageous efforts of emergency responders and civilian rescuers helped avert an even worse tragedy, as people rushed to help in extremely dangerous conditions. I was inspired by the stories I heard from some of those who were part of the rescue effort and tremendously encouraged by the strength of the family members of victims I met with today. We pray for all those who were affected by this terrible tragedy.”
Please join Teresa and me by offering prayers and support for the victims and families affected by this tragic event. https://t.co/BaS2JXnwvD
— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) July 20, 2018
After meeting with Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader and others leading the recovery operation early Friday morning, Parson traveled to Cox Medical Center Branson to meet with survivors and some of the medical personnel who helped treat the injured Thursday night. The Governor also met with some of the civilians and emergency responders who helped with rescues Thursday and with the loved ones of some of the victims.
Thirty-one people were onboard the Ride the Ducks amphibious vehicle when it sunk in strong winds and large waves Thursday evening. After working throughout the night and into today, nine Missouri State Highway Patrol divers have recovered the remaining four bodies from the water totaling 17 fatalities. The Patrol divers were among several dive teams that all worked expeditiously to recover the victims. Many of the victims were out-of-state visitors to the Branson area. Of the 14 survivors, seven were injured, one seriously.
The investigation into the boat sinking is being led by the National Transportation Safety Board and the U.S. Coast Guard. The Governor pledged the support of all state resources necessary to assist with the investigation.
Gov. Parson in a press release reminded the public that severe storms are again in the forecast for southeast Missouri on Friday morning and cautioned the public to follow their local forecast and to always take protective action when severe weather strikes.