BRANSON, Mo. ( – Criminal charges have been announced against three people in relation to the Missouri duck boat sinking that occurred on Table Rock Lake on July 19, 2018, killing 17 people.

Stone County Prosecuting Attorney Matt Selby and Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt announced the charges Friday morning against Ride the Ducks Branson employees Kenneth Scott McKee, Charles Baltzell, and Curtis Lanham. They are each charged with 17 counts of first-degree involuntary manslaughter. In addition, Captain McKee was charged with five counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, a class A felony, and seven counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a child, a class D felony.

Charging documents state McKee failed to exercise his duties as a licensed captain by entering the lake during a severe thunderstorm warning. It also alleges he failed to follow policies and training by not having passengers affix floatation devices as the boat took on water. The documents also state that Baltzell, the operations supervisor, and Lanham, the general manager, failed to communicate the weather conditions and cease operations during the severe thunderstorm warning.  

Late last year, a federal judge dismissed neglect and misconduct charges against the three employees. Prior to the dismissal, a magistrate judge ruled the federal government didn’t have jurisdiction over Table Rock Lake.  

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