The investigation into the duck boat tragedy in Branson, Missouri that killed 17 people continued Monday, as investigators raised the boat from under 80 feet of water.
Divers secured cables to the sunken duck boat before raising it to the surface three days after the boat sank during near-hurricane winds on Table Rock Lake.
Unused life jackets still hung from the roof of the boat.
“The life saving requirements and the regulations require that personal flotation devices be on board for all passengers, and the decision to don those pfd’s is made as an operational decision by the captain on board,” said Sector Commander for the USCG Upper Mississippi River, Captain Scott Stoermer.
The wrecked boat now goes to the National Transportation Safety Board, which is investigating the incident.
Nine members of Tia Coleman’s family died in the boat accident, her husband and three children among the victims.
“I don’t know how I am going to do it…since I’ve had a home it’s always been filled. It’s always been filled with little feet and laughter,” said Coleman.
Officials say wind conditions Thursday evening were near hurricane strength, with waves as high as six feet.
Meanwhile, a private inspector has come forward, saying he warned the company about a potentially dangerous design flaw last summer, calling the boats “a death trap.”
“Since my inspection, I’ve convinced my family not to ride the ducks,” said Steven Paul of Test Drive Technologies.
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