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Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said the divers ended their "challenging" search on Thursday night before resuming their efforts yesterday morning. 17 people were killed. One woman died and another person was seriously injured.

The pastor of Zion Tabernacle Apostolic Church said the family was close to his church, but weren't members. Two adults are in critical condition, and two children are in stable condition, officials said. "Every time I see people on it, I think, why are you on them?" she told the Herald. The captain survived, while the driver did not.

IN woman, Tia Colman, who lost nine of her family members aboard the boat, was one of two that made it off alive. He said that while that duck boat carried life vests on board, the investigation was too early to determine if any of the passengers had put them on prior to the vessel submerging.

Commenting on the tragedy, Ms Coleman said: "I lost all my children, I lost my husband, I lost my mother-in-law, I lost my father-in-law, I lost my uncle, I lost my sister-in-law - she was my sister - and I lost my nephew, I'm OK, but this is really hard".

"I can't process it enough to think half of the people if not more died yesterday", Lemus said.

"I said, 'Lord just let me die, let me die, I can't keep drowning", survivor Tia Coleman said. Two other relatives survived. A full investigation was underway.

A team from the The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) plans to go an investigate the accident.

The Coast Guard will be attempting to find out what happened and what can be learned from the incident, Ratliff said.

The company had been operating for 47 years without incident, Mr Pattinson told CBS, adding that the captain had over 16 years of experience on the water.

Pulley said several docks also broke loose during the wind storm, and the Water Patrol helped rescue two personal watercraft boats that capsized in the wind.

Cellphone video taken by a witness showed the boat struggling to move on the water before it was hit by waves and then sank. The boats were returning to shore when the incident happened, he said.

Passengers on a nearby boat described the chaos on the lake as the winds picked up and the water turned rough.

People pray outside Ride the Ducks an amphibious tour operator involved in a boating accident on Table Rock Lake Friday
Seventeen dead, more missing after storm sinks 'duck boat'

"Duck boats are death traps", said Andrew Duffy, an attorney whose law firm handled litigation related to duck boat accidents, The Associated Press reported.

"We have a clear line of sight to both across the water", Zerby said.

"Were it not for grace of God, it couldve been me on the boat", he also said.

"I am 54 and I started coming here when I was six or seven years old". Unger's ingenuity paved the way for future companies to follow suit, like Ride the Ducks, the duck tour operator behind the deadly accident on Table Rock Lake in Missouri.

The Thursday night accident was one of the deadliest USA tourist incidents in recent years.

"I look at my family here, and this could've been us", Ed Brown, who was at the vigil, told CNN affiliate KMIZ.

"Our number one priority is the families and our employees that were affected by this tragic accident", spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala-Potts said Thursday.

"Emergency responders and civilian rescuers helped avert an even worse tragedy as people rushed to help in extremely risky conditions", Parson said in a statement.

The family plans to pray for the victims at their church service. "This is Branson. This is who we are".

Divers quickly located the vessel, which came to rest on its wheels on the lakebed, and authorities planned to recover it later Friday.

One responder asked if those at the scene of the victims could push back bystanders. "We are thankful for the fearless first responders and dive crews, whose quick and decisive actions have saved many lives, and we continue to pray for their safety as their search, rescue, and recovery operations continue".

President Donald Trump tweeted his condolences, extending his sympathies to the families and friends of those involved. "My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the bad boat accident which just took place in Missouri". Such a tragedy, such a great loss.