At least 17 people nine from the same family have died after an amphibious “duck boat” capsized in stormy weather on a lake in Missouri.
Divers had been searching for four people who were missing after the sightseeing vessel sank in Table Rock Lake, police in the US state said and as Governor Mike Parson had pointed out to CNN, the chances of finding survivors were slim the morning after the incident.
Mr Parson later revealed that nine of the victims, which is said to be include children, were members of the same family.
Pictured, the Coleman family gather around a life saver ring before boarding their doomed duck boat ride in Branson, Missouri, on Thursday.
The boat belonged to local company Ride the Ducks, which run tours of the area on both land and water.
File image pictured, the windows were up when the boat capsized.
Speaking from her hospital bed, Tia tearfully told Reuters of her horrific experience trying to get out of the boat.
‘I couldn’t see anybody, I couldn’t hear anything I couldn’t hear screams it felt like I was out there on my own,’ she said.
‘I was yelling, I was screaming and finally I said: “Lord, just let me die, let me die I can’t keep drowning, I just can’t.
‘Then I just let go, and I started floating, and I was floating to the top and I felt the water temperature raise to warm, and I jumped up and saw the big boat that sits out there.
‘When I saw the first responders helping survivors on the pier, they were throwing out life jackets to people.
And I said: ‘Jesus keep me, just keep me so I can get to my children’.
All of the victims were on board the Ride the Ducks amphibious vessel when a powerful storm rolled over the lake, lashing the water with 60mph winds at around 7pm.
Fourteen people survived, including the boat’s captain. Seven people were hospitalized with injuries.
Those who died range in age from one to 70.
Among them was the boat’s driver.
Search and rescue teams sectioned off part of the lake to continue their recovery of the four missing bodies on Friday morning.
The first 11 bodies were found on Thursday night and six more were recovered the next day.
The lake which is 229ft deep and has a surface area of 43,100 acres was partially reopened to the public on Friday morning.
Now, authorities must bring the boat wreckage back to the shore to investigate why it failed.