Stretch Duck 7, which sank on July 19th, killing 17 people, was scheduled to be raised from Table Rock Lake, near Branson, Missouri, on Monday Jul 23rd.
The vessel’s black box has been recovered. It will be dried out and examined at laboratories in Washington DC.
The salvage plan, being overseen by the US Coast Guard, entailed bringing Stretch Duck 7 to the surface, taking it to shore and transporting it to a secure facility for further inspection and investigation. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will maintain custody of it, said NTSB board member Earl Weener.
Fourteen passengers and crew survived and 13 bodies were recovered. On Friday dive teams found four more bodies within the boat, which came to rest upright in 80ft of water. All those missing have now accounted for. Five children died.
Accident survivor Tia Coleman, who lost nine family members, has alleged that the captain, who survived, had told them that they would not need life jackets. “When it was time to grab them, it was too late and I believe that a lot of people could have been spared”, she said.