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Duck boat tragedy: Stricken vessel raised to surface of Table Rock Lake

By Sky News

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It was drained once it reached the surface

(SKY NEWS) – A duck boat that sank in a lake in southern Missouri, killing 17 people, has been raised to the surface.

It had been submerged in 80ft (24m) of water after sinking near the tourist town of Branson on Thursday night, during a sudden thunderstorm that brought near-hurricane strength winds.

Nine of those that died in the tragedy belonged to a family from Indiana, with one surviving family member claiming that passengers were told by the captain not to put on life jackets.

On Monday, a harness was wrapped around the vessel by divers, enabling a crane attached to a barge to lift it from Table Rock Lake.

It was drained once it reached the surface and another boat pushed it to shore.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will take custody of it and, along with the coast guard, investigate what happened.

A video recorder that was on board has been recovered by divers, though it is unclear whether it was working. It will be sent to the NTSB lab in Washington DC.

Ripley Entertainment, which owns the duck boat business in Branson, said on its website that it was offering to pay for victims’ medical and funeral expenses.

It is also offering its employees grief counselling.

The accident is its first in more than 40 years in Branson, the company said.

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