On July 19, families throughout our country were on summer vacation, having fun and making memories. However, as the afternoon turned to evening, tragedy struck, when 17 lives were lost in a boating accident in Branson.
Thirty-one people were onboard the amphibious vehicle commonly known as a Duck, when strong winds and large waves capsized and sank the boat on July 19. We soon learned that 17 kind souls lost their lives during the tragic event. Of the 14 survivors, seven were injured.
In the midst of this horrific accident, which will no doubt change the lives of all those who survived the tragedy, were moments of true heroism and human compassion. Nearby onlookers risked their own lives by jumping into the waters to help. Others threw life jackets to survivors, called for help and offered assistance until and after emergency crews arrived.
As we take time to pray for the families and everyone affected, please keep the members of law enforcement and our state’s first responders in your prayers as well. These men and women risked their lives as they responded to the distress call that day. Their hard work and dedication should always be remembered.
Numerous departments provided assistance following the tragedy in Branson, including: the Department of Conservation, the Department of Natural Resources, the Missouri Department of Transportation, the Department of Mental Health and the State Emergency Management Agency’s Disaster Mortuary Assistance Team.
As always, I encourage my constituents to contact me throughout the year with comments, questions or suggestions by calling my office at (573) 751-5713. To find more information about the bills I sponsor, visit www.senate.mo.gov/brown. Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.