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Investigators Begin Their Work After 17 Passengers Die in Branson Boat Tragedy

Branson
City-data.com

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader confirmed around 10:19 AM Friday that divers had located the remaining four bodies of passengers who had been on the boat that capsized and sank Thursday night in Table Rock Lake.

This means that a total of 17 people died in the incident, which authorities say was partially caused by severe weather. 

According to National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Schaumann, the NWS issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for Stone County at 6:32 PM Thursday.  The first distress call to the Stone County emergency 911 dispatch center came in about half an hour later, at 7:09 PM, according to Rader. 

When asked whether the boat captain or staff checked the forecast before setting out into the water, Rader declined to answer. The boat captain survived, Rader said.

The effort now turns to an investigation, which will include the National Transportation Safety Board, the Coast Guard, and the Missouri State Highway Patrol.