Salvage operations, coordinated by 'Ride the Ducks' and overseen by the US Coast Guard, successfully removed the sunken duck boat that was located off the stern of the Showboat Branson Belle.
'Ride the Ducks' contracted Fitzco Marine Group to complete salvage operations, and a total of nine Missouri State Highway Patrol divers completed the diving part of the salvage over the course of several days.
After the vessel was removed from the water, it was placed on a flatbed trailer and will be taken to a secure location where the National Transportation Safety Board will take custody of it.
In addition, the US Coast Guard safety zone that was in place around Showboat Branson Belle is no longer in effect.
Capt. Scott Stoermer, commander of Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River mentioned:
The tremendous cooperation and professionalism from everyone involved, especially the Missouri State Highway Patrol, allowed us to quickly and safely complete salvage operations so we may continue to focus on investigations and understanding all the factors that led to this tragedy.
USCG and NTSB will continue their investigations into how 'Stretch Duck 7' sank.
When the duck boat 'Stretch Duck 7' sank last week due to a storm, initial estimations were saying that 13 people have drowned. However, divers recovered the last bodies from the boat, raising the number to 17 dead. In addition, the vessel's black box was also discovered and is being prepared to be examined.