Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief Deploys After 17 Killed at Branson Lake

Seventeen people, including children, died yesterday (July 19) after a sudden violent storm capsized a “duck boat” on Table Rock Lake near the tourist hotspot of Branson, Mo. The tragedy prompted a response from Missouri Disaster Relief (DR) today, as well as from other Southern Baptists in the region.

Branson is known among tourists for its “duck boats,” which can travel both on land and in the water. Two boats were still in the water yesterday at Table Rock Lake, when a fast-moving storm brought winds in excess of 60 mph and caused three-foot waves on the lake.
One of the boats was able to make it back to shore but another — carrying 31 passengers — struggled amid the waves and was finally capsized.

The 17 who died included people from 1 to 70 years old, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol. Four adults and three children were hospitalized, and two remained in critical condition last night, according to Fox News. Other passengers had only minor injuries.

“Our hearts grieve for those people and families involved in the tragedy in Branson last night with the capsizing of one of the ‘Ducks,'” John Yeats, executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention, said in a written statement to MBC staff this morning.

“Pray for these folks and pray for churches in the area. Some of the victims on board were not from the Branson area. Pray for those families and for the churches where they lived that grief ministry may occur. This is a tragic loss,” Yeats said.

Ron Crow, associate state director for Missouri DR, arrived on scene late this morning to assess needs following the accident. He is joined in Branson by DR chaplain Ann Stevenson, a member of First Baptist Church in Richland, Mo., with her trained therapy dog Steele.

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Source: Baptist Press