The deaths of 17 people who drowned when a "duck boat" they were riding in sank in a Missouri lake have brought back to mind design faults in the amphibious tourist vessel that were flagged nearly two decades ago by U.S. safety officials.
Local law enforcement have released the names of the 17 people killed Thursday night when a duck boat tragically sank in Table Rock Lake.
A woman who survived a deadly duck boat accident in Missouri on Thursday told a Fox-affiliated TV station in Indianapolis that the boat's captain told passengers "not to worry about grabbing life jackets". In September, a duck boat crashed into a charter bus carrying students in Seattle, killing five and injuring dozens.
The victims are yet to be identified by authorities.
The Coast Guard will conduct an investigation, said Sgt. Jason Pace of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, which is assisting. Life jackets were available inside the boat, but authorities can't say whether passengers were wearing them. In the summer of 1946, however, Bob Unger purchased an army surplus DUKW and transformed it into a duck boat tour of the Wisconsin Dells.
The duck boats - which can drive on land and also go in the water - are a common site in tourist destinations but there have been a number of deaths involving the vehicles over the years.
A report by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) about the 1999 sinking of the Miss Majestic duck boat on a lake in Arkansas - an incident in which 13 people, including three children, died - concluded that the boat's canopy was a "major impediment" to passenger survival.
In a short video taken by Malaske from a dock, the duck boat can be seen wallowing through the choppy, wind-whipped lake, with water only inches from its windows. At least two were in a critical condition in hospital.
"I look at my family here, and this could've been us", Ed Brown, who was at the vigil, told CNN affiliate KMIZ.
Wendy Doucey, an office manager at the Stone County sheriff's office, said that divers had recovered the four bodies from the sunken duck boat. Of the 31 passengers on board, 14 survived. Another duck boat on the lake made it safely back to shore.
Josh Daniel, a local, organized the vigil on Friday, which took place in the parking lot for the Ride the Ducks boat tour - a spot where the vehicles driven to the tourist attraction by the victims still Saturday.
He said the business monitored the weather and that the water was calm when the boat went into the lake.
Eyewitness video showed the craft, which travels on land and water, taking on water as waves lashed at its sides. "I don't think it will stop people, but what I do hope is that boaters and people who do boat.open their eyes as to what can happen out there", said Barlow.
"It was just one of those things that kept me awake, as I sat and thought about the families", said Daniel, who helped to organize the vigil and spread the word through Facebook. "I am trying to figure out why the boats were out there".
The maker of the Missouri duck boat, Ride the Duck International, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company added: "This incident has deeply affected all of us". Such a tragedy, such a great loss.