Sen. Roy Blunt urges federal agencies to wrap up duck boat probes

FILE - In this July 23, 2018 file photo, the duck boat that sank in Table Rock Lake in Branson, Mo. Ripley Entertainment, the company that owns the Ride the Ducks operation in Branson asked a judge Monday, Oct. 1, 2018, to dismiss some of the lawsuits filed after one of its boats sank in a Missouri lake in July, killing 17 people. Survivors and relatives of those who died on the boat have filed several lawsuits against Ripley Entertainment and five other businesses. (Nathan Papes/The Springfield News-Leader via AP, File)

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri says everyone affected by last year's duck boat tragedy on Table Rock Lake near Branson "deserves answers," and he is urging federal agencies to wrap up their investigations.

The Republican senator released a statement on Friday marking the one-year anniversary of the accident that killed 17 people. He says the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board have had "more than enough time" to finish investigating and issue recommendations and new safety measures.

Ripley Entertainment, the operator of the duck boat, says in a statement it is "deeply committed" to supporting families impacted by the accident. It has settled or is in the process of settling more than half of the lawsuits.

Three employees face federal charges, including the boat captain.

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