Hundreds gathered for vigils held by a grief-stricken community, mourning the loss of 17 people after a boating accident in Missouri claimed their lives.

 

The victims included nine members of one family.

 

At one memorial in a car park of Ride the Ducks of Branson, about 300 people sang Amazing Grace.

 

The same words were sung by mourners at a church.

 

 

“Even though we may not know any of them, it doesn’t matter,” said Tammy Miesner, a 54-year-old, resident of Branson.

 

“It’s a part of our lives to be there for each other.”

 

Four more victims were found by divers on Friday in Table Rock Lake, near Branson.

 

Although officials have not released the names of the victims, sad details have surfaced following the tragic accident.

 

 

The vessel known as the duck boat claimed the lives of a popular duck boat driver, a father, and son visiting from Arkansas.

 

Another nine relatives from Indiana, many of whom were children also lost their lives.

 

In an ill turn of events, the nine weren't even meant to be on that particular boat according to one bystander. 

 

 

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, recalls the family waiting in line and claims the possible ticket mix-up for them ending up on the ill-fated boat.

 

Tracy alleged that the ticket taker realised after they paused for a photo that they should have boarded at a different location and assigned them new tickets.

 

Photo: Trent Behr

 

Aboard the pleasure cruise was 29 passengers and two crew members, seven of the 14 survivors were hurt when the boat went down.

 

At least two children and two adults were still in hospital on Friday afternoon, the authorities have said. 

 

They also announced that the captain survived the tragic accident.

 

 

Among the injured survivors was 14-year-old Loren Smith of Osceola, Arkansas, who is recovering from a concussion, reports BreakingNews.ie.

 

Sadly, the teenager lost her father, 53-year-old retired maths teacher Steve Smith, and her 15-year-old brother, Lance.

 

Mourning the loss of his only child and only grandson, Mr Smith's father said “It’s a hard thing...It’s a very difficult day.”

 

 

The tourist boating accident is the deadliest accident of its kind in almost twenty years.

 

Investigators are now trying to determine the cause of the accident.

 

An original assessment claimed thunderstorms and winds were to blame as they approached hurricane strength.

 

However, it is unclear as to why the vehicle ventured into the water as the risk of bad weather was known hours before it departed.

 

 

The National Weather Service in Springfield, about 40 miles north of Branson, issued a severe thunderstorm watch for its immediate area on Thursday, saying conditions were ripe for winds of 70 mph, reports BreakingNews.ie.

 

A severe thunderstorm warning for three counties, which included and mentioned both locations, Branson, and the lake was issued at 6.32pm.

 

The boat reportedly capsized approximately 40 minutes later, around 7 pm local time.

 

“When we issue a warning, it means take action,” meteorologist Kelsey Angle said.

 

 

The Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board are helping in the on-going investigation.

 

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader has requested anyone with video or photos of the accident to contact authorities.

 

Suzanne Smagala, of Ripley Entertainment, that owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said the company was assisting authorities.

 

Suzanne said this was the company’s only accident in more than 40 years of operation.

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