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Tourist boat involved in Missouri tragedy raised from lake

Investigations are ongoing into the incident which led to 17 deaths last week.

A duck boat that sank while carrying tourists on a southern Missouri lake during powerful winds, killing 17 people, has been raised to the surface.

Broadcast footage showed a crane attached to a barge pulling the Ride the Ducks boat from Table Rock Lake, before a boat pushed the vessel toward the shore.

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Seventeen people died in the disaster (AP)

The boat sank in 80ft of water on Thursday night amid stormy conditions near the tourist town of Branson.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and US coast Guard are investigating what caused the boat to sink.

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Mourners attend a memorial service (J.B. Forbes/AP)

Nine of the people who died belonged to one Indiana family. Others killed came from Missouri, Arkansas and Illinois.

Divers already have recovered a video-recording device that was aboard the boat, although it is unclear whether it was working when the boat capsized or whether any data can be retrieved.

The recorder is being taken to the NTSB lab in Washington DC.

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Branson Mayor Karen Best speaks at the memorial (Nathan Papes/AP)

Keith Holloway, an NTSB spokesman, said it was unclear what the recorder captured, including whether it recorded audio.

Steve Paul, owner of the Test Drive Technologies inspection service in the St Louis area, said he issued a written report in August 2017 for Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, after inspecting two dozen boats.

In the report, he explained why the vessels’ engines – and pumps that remove water from their hulls – might fail in inclement weather.

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A programme listing the names of the victims (John Sleezer/AP)

Mr Paul said he will not know if the boat that sank is one that he inspected until it has been recovered from the lake.

Suzanne Smagala, of Ripley Entertainment, said the company is assisting authorities with the rescue effort and that the accident last week was the company’s first in more than 40 years of operation in Branson.

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