Searching for Lost Valuables from 2018 Duck Boat Accident

The Missouri Duck Boat accident in Brandon killed 17 people in 2018 when it sunk in heavy winds and waves. We have been asked by members of the local fire department to dive the crash site in search of lost valuable we can return to family members of those who lost their lives that day.

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In this episode of Adventures with Purpose, we travel to Branson Missouri in search of lost valuables from the 2018 Duck Boat Accident.

The DUKW (“Duck” or “duck boat”) is a wheeled amphibious vehicle used by the United States military and its allies during the later years of World War II and the Korean War. The vehicles became available in surplus after the Korean War, and a veteran in Minnesota began a business giving rides aboard the vessels to tourists on the Wisconsin River. Over the last 50 years, the practice has expanded to other areas. Several major tourist destinations in the United States feature duck boat tours, including Boston, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.

Before the Table Rock Lake accident, there had been several other fatal incidents involving duck boats, notably one near Hot Springs, Arkansas, on May 1, 1999, in which 13 people died. That incident was attributed to several factors, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB); inadequate maintenance was the main cause, with other contributing factors including inadequate reserve buoyancy and the continuous canopy roof over the passenger cabin preventing escape. Among others, recommendations were made for amphibious passenger vehicles to either add additional buoyancy to prevent sinking when flooded or require passengers to wear life jackets and remove the canopy to allow escape in the event of a sinking.

The accident occurred shortly after 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time on July 19, 2018, as a line of severe thunderstorms approached the Branson area. Approximately an hour prior to the accident, the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm warning for areas around the lake.

It is not known whether the two crew members aboard the vessel were aware of the warning or what action they attempted to take. The National Weather Service reports that winds in the area at the time were in excess of 60 miles per hour (100 km/h), and the storm over the lake was moving very quickly and causing three-foot (one-meter) waves on the lake.

The vessel was a refurbished DUKW built in 1944 and extended to hold more people, a design known as a “stretch duck”. The first 911 call was received at 7:09pm as the boat was already going under the water, according to the local sheriff.

Local officials reported the following morning that all passengers and crew aboard the vessel had been accounted for and confirmed a total of 17 deaths.

The ages of those who died in the accident ranged from 1 to 70 years old, and nine were members of a single-family visiting from Indianapolis.

None of the passengers or crew were wearing a life jacket when the boat sank.

Our goal with this dive was to locate the crash site and recovery any lost valuables we could return to family members of lost loved ones.

#duckboat #boataccident #scubadiving

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37 thoughts on “Searching for Lost Valuables from 2018 Duck Boat Accident

  1. Hello Jared and Sam. The family of 9 was my uncles, aunt and cousins. I am subscriber and this video caught me so off guard tonight. I want to personally thank you guys for looking. I am hoping someday you could go back and have more time to look some more. It would mean the world to my family as well as the Roses. And THANK YOU to the people that called you for the search.

  2. At what depth do you need to worry about the bends when you want to come back up to the surface? You guys must find some cool things in fresh water lakes When you have time to do leisure diving. I grew up on Seneca Lake in upstate NY…I bet there's TONS of stuff in there. It reaches a depth of about 600 feet in some spots. Its nuts!

  3. I was on the Show boat. And watch the Duck ride sink. It was way more terrifying than the video. I thought everybody on the duck would die but i only saw 2 people get back up!0😨

  4. I live in this area and used to work for Ride The Ducks so this still haunts me. I remember going to the ducks place after to place flowers and seeing the cars still parked there of people who had died and weren't coming back…it was something I'll never forget.

  5. I remember hearing this on the news. Condolences to the family's of lost loved ones. Im in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Dells has 2 duck boat companies here. They travel trails and then into either the upper Dells or Lower Dells, which is the Wisconsin River. A very deep fast flowing river. They also use the ducks to help people get out of flooded areas were only a boat would be able to help.

  6. OMGOODNESS, this accident hit close to home. My Granddaughter is in college there and we are from Boston where Duck Boat tours are a big deal. So many lives lost. I hope they make life jackets mandatory now.

  7. I live 20 minutes away from Table Rock and have rode the Duck Ride. I know when I got on I asked for a life jacket for My 3 year daughter and Myself. I remember when this happened like it was Yesterday 😢 the storm was horrible and I've never seen the waves so bad and I've lived My whole life in Southwest Mo. What a terrible day for the Families that lost Loved Ones. It only takes a second to ask for life jacket and to put them on. I wished They would've done the same. Table Rock Lake is a wonderful place to go. Thank You for helping the Families by trying to find things that would be a part of the Ones They lost.
    God Bless You All ❤️
    and Thank You for posting the videos that You do.
    I'm a huge fan of AWP and look forward to many more 🙂

  8. The wind storm came up, extremely fast, that day. It was a calm, nice day, then all of a sudden the wind was incredibly strong. I was nearby. I would say it went from a nice day to extremely strong winds, in about 5 minutes. I'll bet it was fine, when they went out, then it turned instantly. It's really hard to explain how fast things turned, unless you were there. Not justifying anything. It is a tragic event. Just pointing out how fast things changed. I've never seen anything like it.

  9. Two years after the incident, it seems everything would be buried. Since there was so much wind and rough water that day, personal items could very well be all up and down that river.

  10. I've rode the ducks so many times even drove it once so sad what happened. I don't think they should've went out that afternoon. I love what u guys do thank u guys prayers to all the families

  11. ADVENTURE WITH PURPOSE
    YOU GUYS ARE SO AWESOME
    DOING WHAT YOU DO TO FIND
    CLOSURE TO FAMILYS THAT HAVE
    LOST THERE LOVED ONES
    MAY GOD BLESS YOU GUYS
    I WATCH YOU GUYS ALL THE TIME

  12. Awe I remember this. Me and my family went in it the year before this happened and I remember feeling sooo unsafe on it. And that happened and it just gives me the chills. So so sad!

  13. I rode the duck boats when my kids were little, like 10+ years ago, and it was a fun little trip. This tragedy was terrible and never should have happened. The winds picked up really fast that day and he should have never entered the water that day.

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