Ride the Ducks offers to pay for victims’ funerals, medical expenses after tragedy

Ride the Ducks Branson issued a statement Monday morning on its Facebook page expressing its sorrow regarding Thursday’s tragedy on Table Rock Lake and offering to pay for all funeral and medical expenses of those involved.

“We remain deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred at Ride the Ducks Branson,” the organization said. “Our focus from the start has been on the guests, families, and employees who were affected last Thursday.

“Today, we continue to focus our efforts on the families. We are offering to pay for all related medical bills and funeral expenses, return all personal items from the rescue scene, and assist with any related travel or accommodations that will help the families in their time of need. An event like this deeply touches everyone and we are also providing grief counseling to our employees who have been affected by this tragic accident.”

Thursday night a duck boat facing near hurricane level winds sank in Table Rock Lake, near Branson. Seventeen people died. Fourteen others who were on the boat survived.

The Facebook post also stated that Ride the Ducks Branson is cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board, the Missouri Highway Patrol and federal and state authorities who are investigating the tragedy. The company is unable to comment on the investigation, it said.

“However, our job is to cooperate and provide information to those officials and to comfort the families of those affected by this tragic event. Thank you for your support, and we continue to ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this difficult time.”

Comments on the post are largely supportive, with many applauding the company’s decision to provide monetary aid and some saying that they will continue to ride the boats. One commenter wrote, “Long live the ducks!”