Stretch Duck 7: Chronology of sinking

1120 on July 19, 2018: The National Weather Service Storm Prediction Center issues a severe thunderstorm watch for western and central Missouri, including Branson and nearby Table Rock Lake, that was valid until 2100.

1800: Stretch Duck 7 returns to the company “duck dock” in Branson, about six miles from Table Rock Lake, after completing a 90-minute tour on land and water.

1827: A manager tells Stretch Duck 7’s captain to “go to the water first” for the next tour, but apparently does not explain the reason.

1829: Passengers begin boarding the duck boat. There are 29 passengers, a captain and a driver on the vessel.

1832: The National Weather Service issues a severe thunderstorm warning for an area that included Table Rock Lake, valid until 1930.

1833: Stretch Duck 7 leaves the “duck dock” and begins the 16-minute trip to Table Rock Lake.

1855: Stretch Duck 7 enters Table Rock Lake. The captain describes calm winds and a nearly flat surface.

1859: The captain alters course to accelerate the vessel’s departure from the lake. “Yeah, we’re gonna try and beat this weather off the water as fast as we can here,” the captain tells the passengers.

1900: Strong winds arrive, creating whitecaps on the lake’s surface within 15 seconds.

1903: Stretch Duck 7’s pitching increases in the rough water.

1904: Stretch Duck 7’s bilge alarm sounds.

1907:05: Stretch Duck 54 exits the lake.

1907:24: Passengers on Stretch Duck 7 comment about getting wet from incoming water.

1908:18: The captain orders passengers to move to the vessel’s port side to counteract a starboard list.

1908:25: The starboard side aft dips below the water’s surface, and Stretch Duck 7 sinks at the stern seconds later. At about this time, the captain releases the port-side curtain to facilitate passenger escape. The starboard-side curtain is not released. The captain is pushed out of the vessel by water rushing in from the windshield.

National Transportation Safety Board

By Professional Mariner Staff