KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Charges have been filed against the captain of a tourist boat that sank in a southwest Missouri lake in July and killed 17 people, including nine members of an Indiana family, prosecutors said Thursday.

A federal indictment shows Kenneth Scott McKee is facing 17 counts of misconduct, negligence, or inattention to duty by a ship’s officer resulting in death. The accident occurred when an amphibious vessel sank after a sudden and severe storm rolled into the area.

McKee is accused of not properly assessing the weather before or after the boat went into Table Rock Lake near the tourist town of Branson, US Attorney Tim Garrison said during a news conference in Springfield. McKee also allegedly failed to tell passengers to put on their flotation devices or prepare them to abandon ship as waves crashed into the boat, which was originally designed for military use in World War II but had been refurbished as a tourist attraction.


The company that operated the boats did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.