Subscribe for 99¢
Duck Boat recovered from the bottom of Table Rock Lake

The duck boat that sank was hauled out of the water on Monday, July 23, 2018, at Table Rock Lake in Branson. The boat sank Thursday, killing 17 people. The effort to recover the boat from about 80 feet of water took about five hours. Photo by J.B. Forbes, jforbes@post-dispatch.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.  — A federal judge has ruled that an 1851 maritime law does not protect a company from making payments to families of people aboard a tourist boat that sank on a Missouri lake, killing 17 people.

After the July 2018 sinking at Table Rock Lake near Branson, multiple lawsuits were filed against Ride the Ducks International, which owned the boat before Ripley Entertainment bought it.

Be the first to know

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

The two companies asked U.S. District Judge Doug Harpool last year to find the 1851 Shipowners Limitation of Liability Act meant damages due to survivors or relatives of those who drowned could be capped at no more than the value of the sunken boat, which is zero dollars.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that Harpool ruled Friday the law doesn’t apply, in part because Table Rock Lake is not considered a "navigable waterway" under federal law.

Get high-interest news alerts delivered promptly to your inbox.




Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.