The captain of the Second World Struggle-style vacationer “duck boat” that sank on a Missouri lake throughout a storm in July, killing 17 individuals, was charged on Thursday with misconduct, negligence and inattention to responsibility in an indictment by a federal grand jury, prosecutors mentioned.

Kenneth Scott McKee, 51, of Verona, Missouri, was charged in a 17-count indictment, one rely for every of the passengers who died when the vessel sank on July 19.

McKee was captain of the vessel operated by Ripley Leisure Inc, which ran duck boat excursions in Branson, Missouri, and on close by Lake Taneycomo and Desk Rock Lake, the place the incident occurred. He might face a jail sentence of as much as 10 years for every of the 17 counts.

Utilizing a barge mounted crane, a salvage crew from Fitzco Marine Group raised the duck boat from beneath the floor of Desk Rock Lake, close to Branson, Mo. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield Information-Chief through Related Press)

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There have been 31 passengers aboard the duck boat on Desk Rock Lake when hurricane-strength winds churned up the water and sank the craft, inflicting one of many deadliest U.S. vacationer tragedies lately.

“The captain of the vessel all the time has an obligation to function his vessel in a protected method and that is why Mr. McKee is below indictment this morning,” Timothy Garrison, U.S. legal professional for the Western District of Missouri, mentioned at a information convention.

McKee is accused of failing to correctly assess the extreme climate, instruct passengers to make use of private flotation units, or head for shore and put together to desert ship, the indictment mentioned.

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Garrison mentioned McKee was not but in custody.

Tia Coleman misplaced 9 relations within the vacationer boat sinking. (Charlie Riedel/Related Press)

McKee’s legal professional J.R. Hobbs mentioned in an electronic mail that he was understanding together with his shopper how he ought to give up to officers.

“Now we have obtained the indictment and anticipate {that a} not-guilty plea might be entered,” Hobbs mentioned.

Along with a potential sentence in federal jail with out parole, McKee might face a $250,000 U.S. fantastic.

Garrison declined to say whether or not different individuals had been being investigated.

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The households of 4 individuals who died have filed lawsuits in opposition to Ripley Leisure, which operates below the title Journey the Geese, saying it recklessly allowed the vessel out in harmful climate.

9 members of the identical household had been among the many 17 killed.

Kenneth Scott McKee faces expenses of misconduct, negligence and inattention to responsibility in connection to the incident. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield Information-Chief through Related Press)

The boats, modelled on the amphibious touchdown craft used within the D-Day invasion of Normandy in 1944, have a checkered historical past involving greater than three dozen fatalities on water and land, together with the Desk Rock Lake sinking, in accordance with the grievance.

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