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'Hamilton' creator announces arts fund for Puerto Rico

Lin-Manuel Miranda jumped up to a podium shortly after landing in Puerto Rico on Sunday to announce he has helped create a multimillion-dollar fund to boost the arts in the U.S. territory as it struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria.

The "Hamilton" playwright said he hopes the fund will grow to $15 million in upcoming years. He added that he will donate all funds from the Broadway hit when it is performed January in Puerto Rico.

"The goal wasn't just artistic satisfaction, but how can we leave Puerto Rico a little better than we found it," said Miranda, whose parents are from the island.

Hurricane Maria caused damage estimated at more than $100 billion when it hit in September. Cultural and artistic groups across Puerto Rico have been greatly affected, losing government and nonprofit support amid an 11-year-old recession.

The first five recipients of the fund include a dance school and a theater company.

"This will allow us to start dreaming again, to come up with new ideas, to visit more cities. This will allow us to breathe," Julio Morales, artistic co-director of the local theater company, Y No Habia Luz, told The Associated Press.

The seven-member company will receive $180,000. It had struggled to find funds and was forced to cancel all events for several months after the hurricane.

The nonprofit Flamboyan Foundation will manage the fund, which will award $1 million each to the Theater of the University of Puerto Rico and the Puerto Rico Museum of Art. An award of $900,000 will go to an art education program and a dance school.

Among those visiting Puerto Rico for the announcement was Hamilton producer Jeffrey Seller.

"Arts will be at the center of the rebuilding effort," he said, noting that he is excited about the show's upcoming run in Puerto Rico. "The point it to lift everybody up for those three weeks."

Hundreds of people in Puerto Rico recently auditioned for the historical musical about the life of Alexander Hamilton, and Miranda said he would like to bring the newest cast members on tour in the U.S. mainland.

Miranda said he has to prepare for Hamilton in Puerto Rico, adding with a laugh: "I still have to memorize my lines."

Rapper Offset posts bail, reunites with wife Cardi B after arrest for weapon, drug charges

Migos rapper Offset came home Saturday after he was arrested on suspicion of drug and weapon charges Friday.

WSB reported the 25-year-old and his bodyguard, Senay Gezahgn, were traveling in Jonesboro, Georgia, when police pulled over Offset for an improper lane change.

Offset, whose real name is Kiari Cephus, was driving a 2014 Porsche 911 Carrera.

>> Read more trending news 

According to WSB, Clayton County police said officers searched the vehicle and found less than 1 ounce of marijuana and more than $107,000 in cash.

Offset was charged with improper lane change; possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce; possession of a weapon by a convicted felon; and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

Related: Rapper Offset, of trio Migos, arrested in metro Atlanta on weapon, drug charges

Offset and his Migos group mates, Quavo and Takeoff, were arrested on drug and gun charges in 2015 during a show at Georgia Southern University. While Quavo and Takeoff were able to post bail after two nights in jail, Offset remained in jail for eight months because of past burglary and theft convictions

Gezahgn was charged with possession of marijuana, less than 1 ounce, and possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.

Quavo confirmed Offset was home on Twitter.

People reported that Offset’s wife, rapper Cardi B, posted a quick glimpse of the rapper at home with her and their newborn daughter on her Instagram story. She also cleared up details of Offset’s arrest, saying, “For the record Offset is NOT ON PROBATION.”

Offset’s lawyer, Drew Findling, told People the rapper’s top priority is his family. He also said his client was not guilty of any crime. 

“He did not commit any traffic offense and he certainly was not in possession of any weapons,” Findling told People. “This was an improper arrest and I believe in his innocence.

“He’s up as best he can considering the circumstances and knows he has not broken any laws. He is going to have his day in court.”

9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri 

A duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, killed 17 people Thursday night, including the boat’s driver and nine members of an Indiana family, according to authorities. Fourteen other people were injured.

>> Read more trending news 

Update 12:50 p.m. EDT July 22: The 17 people killed in the duck boat accident have all been identified, according to The Associated Press. They are:

Indiana family members 45-year-old Angela Coleman, 1-year-old Arya Coleman, 69-year-old Belinda Coleman, 76-year-old Ervin Coleman, 7-year-old Evan Coleman, 40-year-old Glenn Coleman, 70-year-old Horace Coleman, 2-year-old Maxwell Coleman, and 9-year-old Reece Coleman.

Missouri natives 69-year-old William Asher, 68-year-old Rosemarie Hamann, 63-year-old Janice Bright, 65-year-old William Bright, and 73-year-old Bob Williams.

Arkansas natives 53-year-old Steve Smith and 15-year-old Lance Smith.

Illinois native Leslie Dennison, 64.

Update 8:45 a.m. EDT July 21: The Stone County coroner confirmed to KSDK that William Asher, 69, and his girlfriend, Rose Hamann, were among those killed in Thursday night's duck boat accident in Missouri.

The news station reported that the couple lived in St. Louis County, Missouri. They were visiting Branson to celebrate Hamann’s birthday, which was on Monday, according KSDK.

Todd Dennison’s mother, 64-year-old Leslie Dennison, was also killed in the boat accident, the Kansas City Star reported. In an emotional and brief interview Friday, Todd Dennison told the newspaper that his mother was visiting Branson with his 12-year-old daughter, Alicia, and that they were together for less than an hour before they boarded the duck boat.

He told the Star that while in the hospital on Thursday night, his daughter told him that she could feel her grandmother pushing her upward from below while the boat was sinking.“She said her grandmother saved her,” Todd Dennison told the Star.

Update 1:30 a.m. EDT July 21: Authorities have identified more victims in the duck boat accident.

Steve Smith and his teenage son, Lance Smith, from Osceola, Arkansas, were among those killed in the crash.

Steve Smith was a pastor and Lance Smith was preparing to open his own church in less than a week, according to CNN, first reported by The Christian Chronicle

Steve Smith’s daughter, Loren Smith, suffered a concussion during the accident but survived.

Smith’s wife, Pam Smith, opted to stay behind and was not on the boat.

William and Janice Bright from Higginsville, Missouri, near Kansas City, were also identified as victims in the crash.

WDAF reports that the couple had three children, 16 grandchildren and had been married for 45 years.

“My great nieces and nephews now have no grandparents,” Karen Abbott, William Bright’s sister, told WDAF.

Update 11:00 p.m. EDT July 20: A summer vacation ended in tragedy for nine members of an Indiana family, along with eight other tourists, killed when a duck boat capsized Thursday evening on a lake in Branson, Missouri.

The Coleman family had traveled to Branson for their annual road trip, according to The New York Times, which interviewed Carolyn Coleman.

Coleman said she lost two of her brothers-in-law and that three generations of the family died in the accident, including four young children, the Times reported.

“We just lost some wonderful people,” she said.

The Indianapolis Star reported that the four children killed in the accident were all under the age of 10.

"They were very loved," Ingrid Coleman Douglas said in a telephone interview with the Star.

Coleman Douglas said the victims included two of her uncles, cousins and their children.

"It’s a huge family on all sides. It’s unimaginable. I would never have thought I would have lost this number of people this way," she said.

Coleman Douglas identified the victims as her uncles Horace "Butch" Coleman and Irving Raymond Coleman; Horace Coleman's wife, Belinda Coleman; her cousins, Angela Coleman and Glenn Coleman; Angela's 2-year-old son Maxwell; Glenn's two sons Evan and Reece; and his 1-year-old daughter, Arya.

Glenn's wife, Tia Coleman, and Angela's older son, whose name has not been released, survived the accident, the Star reported.

Update 5:15 p.m. EDT July 20: Stone County authorities now say all 17 of the victims in the duck boat accident have been accounted for and that nine of the victims were from the same family, according to Gov. Mike Parson’s office. Two members of the family, identified by local news outlets as the Coleman family, survived. Officials said the victims range in age from 1 to 70 years old.

Meantime, mourners are putting flowers on the victims’ cars in the Ride the Ducks parking lot, and the community of Branson, Missouri, is holding several candlelight vigils Friday night in memory of those killed. 

One of the vigils is scheduled at Table Rock Lake where the accident happened, according to KY3-TV.

Update 4:30 p.m. EDT July 20: Family and friends are mourning the staggering loss of life on Table Rock Lake Thursday evening.

One woman lost nine members of her family, USA Today reported, citing Gov. Mike Parson’s office.

Update 2:20 p.m. EDT July 20: Branson Mayor Karen Best told The Associated Press that Bob Williams, the man who was driving the Ride the Ducks boat that sunk Thursday in a southwest Missouri lake, was a “great ambassador for Branson” who “was at every event.”

Seventeen people died, including Williams, and 14 others were injured Thursday when the duck boat capsized in Table Rock Lake, according to authorities.

Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said earlier Friday that the boat’s captain survived.

In a statement posted on Facebook, employees of Ride the Ducks Branson said the business would be closed “while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community.”

“This incident has deeply affected all of us. Words cannot convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking,” the statement said. “Thank you for your support, and we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this time.”

Update 11:40 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said Friday morning that authorities recovered four more bodies after a duck boat capsized in southwest Missouri, KSMU reported, bringing the death toll from Thursday’s incident to 17.

Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. He said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died. The captain survived.

Update 11:20 a.m. EDT July 20: Nearly two decades ago, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a warning about boats with overhead canopies like the one that sank Thursday on Table Rock Lake after a deadly accident claimed 13 lives in Arkansas, according to the Kansas City Star.

The Miss Majestic duck boat was carrying 21 passengers when it sank in 1999 in Lake Hamilton, the Star reported. Authorities found seven dead passengers trapped inside the boat when they recovered it, four of which were pinned to the underside of the canopy, according to the Star.

“Contributing to the high loss of life was a continuous canopy roof that entrapped passengers within the sinking vehicle,” NTSB officials said in an accident report.

Authorities continued searching Friday for four people who are presumed dead after Thursday’s accident in southwest Missouri. Officials said 13 other people have been confirmed dead in the incident.

Update 10:25 a.m. EDT July 20: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said divers are going back in the water Friday in search of four people who remain missing and are presumed dead after Thursday’s duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake.

Rader said the search had shifted to “recovery mode for the bodies that are still missing,” at a news conference Friday morning.

"It's been a long night,” Rader said. “It's been a very trying night.”

Rader said the driver of the Ride the Ducks boat died but that the captain survived.

Update 10:05 a.m. EDT July 20: Authorities are expected to provide an update on the investigation into Thursday's deadly duck boat accident in Missouri at a news conference Friday.

Update 9:55 a.m. EDT July 20: President Donald Trump shared sympathies Friday to the families and friends of the people involved in Thursday’s deadly duck boat accident in southwest Missouri.

“Such a tragedy, such a great loss,” the president wrote Friday in a tweet. “May God be with you all!”

Update 8:15 a.m. EDT July 20: Officials with the State Highway Patrol said Friday that two more bodies have been found after Thursday’s duck boat accident in southwest Missouri, bringing the death toll to 13.

 >> On AJC.com: Bahamas boating tragedy brings vacation safety to the forefront

State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jason Pace said four other people remained missing.

Original report: Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader said 14 people were taken to hospitals after the incident. Seven were being treated early Friday, he said.

The boat capsized after a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the area around 7 p.m. Thursday. Rader said weather “was a factor” in the incident.

Authorities said the boat had 31 people on board, including children, when it capsized. 

The boat had life jackets on board, according to CNN. The news network reported that other boats on the water docked before the bad weather hit.

The National Transportation Safety Board has sent a team to investigate and are asking anyone who witnessed the accident to come forward.

A dive team and rescue officials worked through the night to find survivors.

They ended the search around 11 p.m., according to KY3.

Emergency responders set up a staging area overnight on the lakeshore near the Showboat Branson Belle, local media reported, although the Belle was not involved in the accident.

Branson officials opened an emergency shelter inside city hall for the victims.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said a top wind speed of 63 mph was measured around 7 p.m. Thursday at Branson Airport. 

“There’s nothing to slow down winds in an open area,” he said.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is watching the developments.

DUKW, known as duck boats, are six-wheel-drive amphibious vehicles that were used by the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War. 

Since then, duck boat tours have become popular and are offered on lakes and rivers around the United States, including Missouri, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and Alabama.

Ripley Entertainment acquired the Ride The Ducks in Branson in late 2017 from Ride the Ducks International, a subsidiary of Norcross, Georgia-based Herschend Family Entertainment Corp.

Ride the Ducks International manufactures amphibious vehicles and licenses them for tours at affiliates. It also operates duck tours at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia. The company formerly operated tours in several other cities, including Baltimore, San Francisco and Philadelphia. But in recent years it ended operations following deadly accidents. 

In 2015, a Ride the Ducks tour bus collided with a charter bus carrying student on the Aurora bridge in Seattle.

Five students were killed and several others injured.

The Associated Press and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this report.

Singer Michelle Williams updates fans after reports she checked into mental health facility

Michelle Williams posted a quick update for fans Friday after a report emerged that she checked herself into a mental health facility for depression.

>> Read more trending news 

Entertainment Tonight reported that the former Destiny’s Child singer tweeted, “Progress not Perfection!” along with a screenshot from her Instagram story that read, “I feel the (heart emoji)! I just wanted to let you guys know I’m better (praying hands emoji)!”

On Tuesday, TMZ reported that Williams checked into a mental health facility. Although Williams has not explicitly confirmed the website’s report, she made a post on social media about seeking help when needed that same day.

Related: Destiny’s Child singer Michelle Williams checks in to mental health facility, reports say

“For years I have dedicated myself to increasing awareness of mental health and empowering people to recognize when it’s time to seek help, support and guidance from those that love and care for your wellbeing,” Williams wrote. “I recently listened to the same advice I have given to thousands around the world and sought help from a great team of healthcare professionals.”

After her post, Williams was met with support from friends and fellow musicians, including Beyonce’s mother, Tina Knowles Lawson, and sister, Solange Knowles. Missy Elliot also expressed support, tweeting, “I want to lift our sis up in prayer because there are so many people battling this & many trying to deal with it alone. Please No jokes this is REAL & as human beings let’s keep the ones who are openly dealing with it uplifted & be encouraging to them! Love u.”

'Equalizer 2' squeaks past 'Mamma Mia 2' and takes top spot

In the battle of two very different sequels at the box office this weekend, Denzel Washington's action pic "The Equalizer 2" has narrowly won out over the ABBA jukebox musical "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again."

Studios on Sunday estimate that the R-rated Denzel Washington joint grossed $35.8 million from North American theaters over the weekend. It's Washington's first ever sequel and the biggest opening of director Antoine Fuqua's career. The first "Equalizer," from 2014, opened similarly and went on to earn over $190 million worldwide.

Second place went to Universal Pictures' "Mamma Mia 2," which took in $34.4 million, a sum that was driven by an audience that was 83 percent female and 64 percent over the age of 25. The film brought back much of the original cast, like Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried and Pierce Brosnan, and added Cher, Andy Garcia and Lily James to the mix. Critics overall gave the sequel better marks than the first, which still went on to gross over $600 million worldwide 10 years ago.

"We consider this a terrific opening," said Jim Orr, Universal's president of domestic distribution. "And knowing the audience for these types of films, we are going to have a very healthy run at the domestic and worldwide box office. This is a very fun, very uplifting movie that people need right now."

It's also a rare showdown of two star-driven films that succeeded in targeting two very different audiences.

"It's amazing how well-matched these contenders are," said comScore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian. "Both studios really did a great job of marketing each of these movies to their target audience. It's classic counter-programming."

Sequels powered the top six spots at the domestic box office this weekend and eight out of the top 10 overall. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation" came in third with $23.2 million in its second weekend, "Ant-Man and the Wasp" took fourth place with $16.1 million in its third weekend, "Incredibles 2" landed in fifth with $11.5 million, and "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" came in sixth with $11 million.

The weekend's other big new opener, "Unfriended: Dark Web," also a sequel, scared up $3.5 million for a ninth-place start. The only two originals in the top 10 were "Skyscraper" and "Sorry to Bother You."

"People are enjoying these films," said Dergarabedian. "It doesn't matter if there's a number after the title."

And yet there are still original films and documentaries making their own modest impact on the charts, including "Blindspotting," a buddy comedy with some serious themes about race and class starring Tony-winner Daveed Diggs that opened in 14 theaters and made an estimated $332,500.

"Movies like 'Sorry to Bother You' and 'Blindspotting' are showing that in the summer people don't live by blockbusters alone," Dergarabedian said.

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at U.S. and Canadian theaters, according to comScore. Where available, the latest international numbers for Friday through Sunday are also included. Final domestic figures will be released Monday.

1. "The Equalizer 2," $35.8 million ($3.3 million international).

2. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," $34.4 million ($42.4 million international).

3. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," $23.2 million ($37.7 million international).

4. "Ant-Man and the Wasp," $16.1 million ($21.6 million international).

5. "Incredibles 2," $11.5 million ($36.5 million international).

6. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," $11 million ($17.3 million international).

7. "Skyscraper," $11 million ($27.3 million international).

8. "The First Purge," $5 million ($8.9 million international).

9. "Unfriended: Dark Web," $3.5 million.

10. "Sorry to Bother You," $2.8 million.

___

Estimated ticket sales for Friday through Sunday at international theaters (excluding the U.S. and Canada), according to comScore:

1. "Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again," $42.4 million.

2. "Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation," $37.7 million.

3. "Incredibles 2," $36.5 million.

4. "Skyscraper," $27.3 million.

5. "Dying to Survive," $25.3 million.

6. "Ant-Man and the Wasp," $21.6 million.

7. "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom," $17.3 million.

8. "Hidden Man," $10.4 million.

9. "The First Purge," $8.9 million.

10. "Animal Crackers," $3.7 million.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

___

Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/ldbahr

Author tells of kidnapping by pirates he'd gone to interview

Michael Scott Moore is walking a bit gingerly these days, but it has nothing to do with the 2½ years he spent imprisoned by Somali pirates, the beatings he suffered, his time spent in chains or the lousy food that caused him to lose 40 pounds.

"I got thumped by a wave surfing off Manhattan Beach the other day," the author of "The Desert and the Sea: 977 days Captive on the Somali Pirate Coast" says with a sheepish grin. "I've got a cracked rib."

Otherwise Moore, freed by his pirate captors in 2014 after his mother raised a $1.6 million ransom, looks fine. He's dressed casually in a dark blue shirt and jeans as he sits down in the shade of the century-old art-deco building that houses Los Angeles' downtown library to talk about his latest book.

"The Desert and the Sea" goes on sale Tuesday, and its 49-year-old author is about to embark on a cross-country tour of readings and signings.

The page-turning thriller, published by Harper Collins, takes readers on a relentless journey as Moore reveals the squalid living conditions that nearly killed him, the beatings he endured and the thoughts of suicide he weighed, along with other thoughts of grabbing one of his captor's machine guns (they were careless about leaving them lying around) and seeing how many of them he could kill before they killed him.

"I don't know," he says with a smile when asked how he survived it all.

After several seconds of quiet contemplation, he adds that a combination of giving up any immediate hope of freedom and living in the moment helped. So did maintaining a sense of humor while trapped in a very unfunny situation. Thus, the book contains several darkly comic moments.

Like the one when Moore hid the keys to the chains the pirates kept him in after he tried to escape by leaping from an old fishing vessel and attempting to swim to shore. They never could find them and had to buy a new set, something that delighted their captive.

Or the time one of the friendlier pirates, knowing Moore holds dual U.S.-German citizenship, woke him one morning to say excitedly that Germany, that year's World Cup winner, defeated Brazil 7-1 in the semifinal game. Moore dismissed the news as "more pirate bull----," replying that no team scores seven goals in a soccer game. Then he turned on the radio and learned it was true.

Moore first thought of writing a book about modern-day piracy when he came across examples of it in coastal African and southeast Asian nations he visited while seeking out some of the world's best surfing spots for a 2010 book. "Sweetness and Blood," documenting how a loose-knit band of hippies, star-struck wanderers and U.S. military personnel helped turn an ancient Hawaiian sport into an international pop-culture phenomenon, has been hailed as arguably the best historical account of modern-day surfing.

His plans to report on piracy weren't sealed, however, until he covered the trial of 10 pirates captured after abducting a German cargo ship off Somalia in 2010. Their two-year trial, which Moore covered for the publication Spiegel Online, marked the first case of piracy prosecuted in Germany in nearly 400 years.

"I really wanted to write a book that had material that I hadn't seen. On pirates," he says now. "And it became an obsession."

By the time he arrived in Somalia in January 2012, piracy had become a cottage industry for a nation plunged into poverty and lawlessness by years of civil unrest. Young men unable to find other work sailed the high seas in small skiffs looking for people to kidnap and hold for multimillion-dollar ransoms.

Moore says he knew going to Somalia was dangerous, but he thought he'd taken all necessary precautions. A "fixer" with clan connections arranged the trip in which he was accompanied by a large contingent of machine-gun-toting guards.

But a pirate leader Moore interviewed betrayed him, paying off most of his security team. Moore was captured on a dusty desert road by pirates who demanded a $20 million ransom.

As his mother spent years negotiating the price and raising money from family and friends, Moore's plight went largely unreported. His employer, Der Spiegel, asked other news organizations to withhold the story, fearing publicity would drive up the price. Almost all, including The Associated Press, complied.

"Honestly, I don't know if it was better or worse to keep it quiet," he says now.

Tall and trim with graying hair, Moore says he has fully recovered physically from his ordeal, although it took more than a year. He laughs when he recalls that several Asian fishermen he was held captive with remarked, "Michael, you got fat," when they saw him during an emotional 2016 reunion.

He still struggles with some emotional scars and takes part in a therapy called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, which involves concentrating on what happened to you while focusing the eyes.

"I don't know if it's trendy or cutting edge," he jokes.

"At times, I think he still has very much trouble sleeping, although he says he doesn't have nightmares," his 78-year-old mother, Marlis Saunders, says in a phone interview from the Redondo Beach home where her only child grew up and became an avid surfer.

Another ex-hostage, former Associated Press correspondent Terry Anderson, says it's unlikely anyone gets completely over such an ordeal.

"That kind of an experience does damage to you that takes a long time to compensate for," said Anderson, who was AP's chief Middle East correspondent when he was abducted by Islamic militants in Lebanon in 1985 and held for nearly seven years. "You don't forget it."

Anderson, 70, says he's glad to hear Moore is getting counseling, adding he underwent it himself but still struggled to accept how emotionally damaging his experience was.

For now, Moore is busy with his book tour and working on a feature story about three men recently convicted of plotting to blow up a Kansas apartment building housing Somali refugees.

After that he'd like to get back to some of the travel writing that took him to many fascinating parts of the world when he was researching his surfing book.

"I don't want to give that up," he says.

Then he laughs as he quickly adds, "It doesn't have to be dangerous travel."

And now he is 5: Britain's Prince George marks birthday

Who doesn't like birthdays?

Britain's Prince William and his wife Kate have released a new photo of their son Prince George to mark his fifth birthday.

The photo shows George grinning in the garden of Clarence House after the christening of his younger brother Prince Louis on July 9.

George is third in line for the British throne. His grandfather, Prince Charles, is heir to the throne and his father William comes next.

George has seemed increasingly self-assured in public this year, serving as a page boy at Prince Harry's wedding to Meghan Markle in May at Windsor Castle and making several other appearances.

Happy 5th birthday, Prince George! Kate Middleton, Prince William share sweet photo of oldest son

Someone looks very happy to be turning 5.

Kensington Palace shared an adorable photo of a smiling Prince George, the oldest child of Britain's Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, on Saturday, one day before the pint-sized royal's birthday.

>> Prince Louis' christening portraits revealed: Kate Middleton, royal family stun in new photos

"The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to share a new photograph of Prince George to mark his fifth birthday – thank you everyone for your lovely messages," the palace tweeted along with the photo, taken by Matt Porteous.

>> See the photo here

The tweet quickly racked up 57,000 likes and 6,500 shares in 10 hours.

>> PHOTOS: Prince Louis christened

Take a look at his previous birthday portraits below:

>> Read more trending news 

Ryan Reynolds teases 'Deadpool 2' extended cut at Comic-Con

Ryan Reynolds has made a triumphant return to San Diego Comic-Con Saturday to promote the release of a "Deadpool 2" extended cut.

Speaking to a packed Hall H audience, Reynolds said that the first "Deadpool" was made because of the people in the room.

The enthusiasm around footage shown at the comic book convention in 2014 convinced the studio to make it.

The second movie, Reynolds deadpanned, was made because of "corporate greed and a splash of destiny." The two films have made over $1.5 billion worldwide.

The "Deadpool 2: Super Duper Cut" features alternate jokes, extended and deleted scenes. Reynolds said that they shot so many alternate versions of every joke that they could basically release a different film.

"Deadpool 2" will be available on blu-ray on Aug. 21.

Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws last year

A private inspector said Saturday that he warned the company operating duck boats on a Missouri lake about design flaws putting the watercraft at greater risk of sinking, less than a year before the accident that killed 17 people during a sudden storm.

Steve Paul, owner of the Test Drive Technologies inspection service in the St. Louis area, said he issued a written report for the company in August 2017. It explained why the boats' engines — and pumps that remove water from their hulls — might fail in inclement weather.

He also told The Associated Press that the tourist boats' canopies make them hard to escape when they sink — a concern raised by regulators after a similar sinking in Arkansas killed 13 people in 1999.

The accident Thursday evening on Table Rock Lake outside the tourist town of Branson also is raising questions about whether storm warnings in the area went unheeded and whether any agency can keep boaters off the water when inclement weather approaches.

"If you have the information that you could have rough waters or a storm coming, why ever put a boat on that water?" Paul said.

A witness' video of the duck boat just before it capsized suggests that its flexible plastic windows might have been closed and could have trapped passengers as the hybrid boat-truck went down. It does not show passengers jumping clear.

"The biggest problem with a duck when it sinks is that canopy," Paul said. "That canopy becomes what I'll call a people catcher, and people can't get out from under that canopy."

A spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, the company operating the duck boats in Branson, did not respond Saturday to telephone and email messages seeking comment. Spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala has noted that Thursday's accident was the only one in more than 40 years of operation.

An archived version of Ripley's website said it operates 20 duck boats in Branson and described them as "built from the ground up under United States Coast Guard (USCG) supervision with the latest in marine safety."

In central Wisconsin, Original Wisconsin Ducks in the Dells has no plans to change how it operates after 73 years of safe rides, general manager Dan Gavinski said. But his company operates World War II-vintage boats, not the modified modern version.

Since 1999, duck boats have been linked to the deaths of more than 40 people, with a troubled safety record on the road and water alike. Their height can obscure cars, pedestrians or bicycles from a driver's view, and maintenance problems can be severe.

Paul said he won't know until the boat that sank is recovered from the lake whether it's one of the two dozen he inspected for Ripley Entertainment in August 2017.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the boat that sank was built in 1944 and had passed an inspection in February, The Kansas City Star reported . But Paul said the boat would have been heavily modified to make it longer so that only part of it dates to World War II. He said it would still have the design flaw he identified in his report.

He declined to share a copy of his report with The Associated Press but said he said he is willing to make it available to authorities.

"I'm sure eventually it will be subpoenaed," he said.

Paul said the duck boats he inspected — which the company had just purchased or repaired — vented exhaust from the motor out front and below the water line. He said in rough conditions, water could get into the exhaust system, and then into the motor, cutting it off. With the motor off, he said, its pump for removing water from the hull would not operate.

"If you watch that video, that water is definitely being slammed up into that exhaust without a doubt," Paul said.

After the deadly sinking in Arkansas in 1999, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended doing away with the canopies and adding more floatation capacity so duck boats could remain upright and keep floating even if they took on water.

The industry took little heed, said Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who has represented victims of duck boat crashes. The canopies can protect customers from rain or sun, he noted, and closed windows allow companies to heat the cabins, extending operating hours.

The NTSB called the industry's response to the recommendations disappointing, saying companies cited the cost of engineering and installing additional flotation capacity as prohibitive.

"The duck boat is notoriously unstable and unsuited for what they were attempting to do with it," said Daniel Rose, an attorney whose New York-based law firm has represented victims in several accidents. "It tries to be a boat and a car and does neither, really, except under ideal circumstances."

State officials said the Coast Guard regulates such craft; its officials did not immediately respond to requests for more information. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn't regulate duck boats because they're amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn't in this case because it's a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one.

It's also not clear that any agency had the authority to keep boats off the lake. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built it in the late 1950s, but its officials said they don't have such authority.

Witnesses have said the weather appeared calm before a storm suddenly whipped up strong waves and spray.

But nearly eight hours earlier, the National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the western and central Missouri counties.

A severe thunderstorm warning that went out at 6:32 p.m. specifically mentioned Table Rock Lake. The first emergency calls over the accident occurred just after 7 p.m.

Meteorologist Elisa Raffa of KOLR-TV in Springfield said in a phone interview Saturday that her station was forecasting the threat of severe weather all morning.

"This storm didn't come out of nowhere," she said. "That is what pains me. I feel like we did everything, at least we tried to do everything, by the book as meteorologists and we still had this horrible tragedy on our hands."

___

Hanna reported from Topeka, Kansas. Johnson reported from Seattle. Jim Salter in St. Louis; Denise Lavoie in Richmond, Virginia; Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kansas, and James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, contributed.

Gal Gadot shows 'Wonder Woman 1984' first look at Comic-Con

"Wonder Woman 1984" is only three and a half weeks into production, but that didn't stop star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins from bringing some footage to Comic-Con.

Audiences in the comic book convention's Hall H on Saturday got an early look at a scene where Diana Prince saves a young girl from some bad guys in their Miami Vice-finest in a very '80s-looking mall.

The clip played Saturday came in a stuffed presentation by Warner Bros. that included footage from two other DC Comics films, "Aquaman" and "Shazam!" The Wonder Woman and Aquaman characters are key characters in DC's Justice League franchise, the superhero supergroup that is meant to be the studio's answer to Marvel's "Avengers."

The first "Wonder Woman" film was a cultural and financial blockbuster, earning more than $800 million globally. It also became the most successful live-action film directed by a woman.

Jenkins explained Saturday why she set the movie in the 1980s.

"It was mankind at its best and worst," she said. "We see Wonder Woman in a period of time that is us at our most extreme...We thought it could go on forever, everything we were doing right then."

Chris Pine also joined Gadot and Jenkins on stage, but all stayed mum about how and why his character Steve Trevor is back considering his fate in the first movie.

"I am actually not really here right now," Pine said. "I am just an aura of emotional support for my friends."

Jenkins did say, however, that his presence is a "very important part" of the movie and that audiences will have to see it in November 2019 to find out why.

'Wonder Woman,' 'Aquaman' and 'Shazam!" thrill Comic-Con

Warner Bros. brought out all the stops Saturday at Comic-Con with an army of stars, surprises and new footage from films like "Aquaman ," ''Shazam! " and even "Wonder Woman 1984," which is only three and a half weeks into production. Jason Momoa, Gal Gadot, Chris Pratt, Johnny Depp and Nicole Kidman were just a few of the starry names to grace the stage of the comic book convention's Hall H.

Momoa, who stars as Aquaman, seemed to be as excited as those in the 6,500-seat audience, if not more so. The actor was downright giddy speaking about the film, which is over five years in the making.

"My heart is big and open," he said. "I'm really, really happy."

Director James Wan, best known for his "Conjuring" films, introduced some new footage in two trailers from the origin story, which hits theaters in December.

"I wanted to create a superhero film that we've never quite seen before. I wanted our film to be more unique," Wan said. "My movie plays more like a science fiction fantasy film than a traditional superhero movie."

Warner Bros.' was the most-anticipated Hall H presentation of the convention, which this year was absent of many of the big names that attendees have come to expect, like Marvel Studios, Lucasfilm ("Star Wars") and HBO's "Game of Thrones."

The studio also has continued to have to prove its mettle with its DC Comics universe, which has had its share of widely panned movies, like "Justice League." The focus Saturday thus was not on Batman or Superman, but the new, the fresh and the proven-quantities, like "Wonder Woman," which has been best-reviewed and most beloved of the new DC universe.

It's why, with 20 weeks of filming left to go, "Wonder Woman 1984" star Gadot and director Patty Jenkins took a break from their Washington D.C. shoot to tease brief footage from the highly anticipated follow-up to the groundbreaking superhero film.

The clip showed Diana Prince saving a young girl from some bad guys in their Miami Vice-finest in a very '80s-looking mall.

Chris Pine also joined Gadot and Jenkins on stage, but all stayed mum about how and why his character Steve Trevor is back considering his fate in the first movie (and that he looks to be the same age as he was in 1917).

Jenkins said his presence is a "very important part" of the movie and that audiences will have to see it in November 2019 to find out.

She did explain why she set the movie in the 1980s.

"It was mankind at its best and worst," Jenkins said. "We see Wonder Woman in a period of time that is us at our most extreme...We thought it could go on forever, everything we were doing right then."

Another audience-pleaser was "Shazam! " and Zachary Levi was on hand to introduce the first trailer for the DC superhero film, or "Big" with superpowers. The origin story shows how a bullied 14-year-old kid becomes the superhero (and a fully-grown man) after a fateful ride on the subway. It comes out in April.

"There are very few characters who are just stoked to have their powers," Levi said. "Since I still am waiting to wake up one morning and fly, to do that, I just got to be me. I got to be a genuine part of myself ... I love that there's still an optimism in him."

"Maybe now more than ever we need heroes like that, who care about people," Levi added.

Chris Pratt also took the stage with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to tease "The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part ," out in February. Pratt says his own trajectory mimicked his character Emmett's journey in "The Lego Movie."

When he was cast in the first movie, he was still best known for being Andy in "Parks and Recreation," but by the time they finished voice-recording, he was Star-Lord in "Guardians of the Galaxy" and one of Hollywood's biggest stars.

"You think, 'Oh my life is a computer simulation and I'm living in the Matrix,'" he said.

The sequel will feature a few winks to Pratt's real life and career, including a character named Rex Dangervest, who counts "raptor trainer" as one of his many jobs.

Pratt's comment about the impact of "Guardians of the Galaxy" on his life was his only mention of the franchise on stage, which came just one day after writer and director James Gunn was fired from the third installment over past tweets. The actor pulled out of planned press line interviews following the news.

In addition to showing the trailer for "Godzilla: King of the Monsters ," many of the stars of "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald ," like Eddie Redmayne, Jude Law, Zoe Kravitz and Ezra Miller (sporting a "Super Mario Bros." Toadette costume) turned out to talk about their sequel as well.

"Everything is at stake, really," Law said of the film that comes out Nov. 16. "The depths and darkness in this story are the darkest that this world has plumbed before."

Other topics discussed included Law's "hot Dumbledore," and what they'd use Harry Potter magic for. Not missing a beat, Kravitz said, "Impeach Trump."

Johnny Depp, who plays Grindelwald, also made a surprise appearance in costume and character. "I love you Johnny," shouted an audience member.

As in years past, the studio brought out all the stops for the showstopper presentation, bringing in screens that stretch around 180 degrees of the massive room, and a booming sound system to match.

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Follow AP Film Writer Lindsey Bahr on Twitter: www.twitter.com/ldbahr

Actor Riz Ahmed praises Sandra Oh as a diversity trailblazer

Riz Ahmed, who shattered glass ceilings as the first Asian man to win an acting Emmy, is celebrating fellow trailblazer Sandra Oh.

The "Grey's Anatomy" actress became the first nominee of Asian descent in the leading drama actress category when Emmy nominations were announced earlier this month.

"I'm incredibly happy for her. Massively well deserved," Ahmed said Friday at Comic-Con. "I think we're living in a moment where we are all realizing that it's not enough to just carry on with business as usual. If we just sleep walk forward, we can end up walking off a cliff and I think a lot of people think we've done that politically, both in Europe and in America."

Last year, Ahmed took home an Emmy for "The Night Of." Oh received five bids for "Grey's" and has earned critical praise as a spy hunter in BBC America's "Killing Eve."

Comic-Con attendees got a look at Ahmed's upcoming Spider-Man spinoff "Venom." His co-star is Tom Hardy.

Captain said not to worry about life jackets before deadly duck boat crash, survivor says

A woman who lost nine family members when a duck boat capsized in Missouri’s Table Rock Lake on Thursday said the captain of the boat told passengers not to worry about life jackets before the accident.

>> Read more trending news

Tia Coleman was one of the 11 members of the Coleman family to board the duck boat Thursday, according to WXIN-TV. She told the TV station that she and her nephew were the only survivors of their group.

“My heart is very heavy,” Coleman told WXIN-TV. “I lost all my children, my brother-in-law.”

>> 9 members of one family among 17 killed in duck boat accident on lake in Branson, Missouri

She said that her family members didn’t bother to grab life jackets because they were told by the boat’s captain that they wouldn’t need them.

“When it was time to grab them, it was too late,” she told WXIN-TV. “I believe that a lot of people could have been spared.”

Authorities said 17 people were killed and 14 others injured in the incident, including Coleman’s family members. The family had traveled to Branson for their annual road trip, according to The New York Times. Carolyn Coleman told the newspaper that the victims came from three generations of the Coleman family and included four young children.

>> Deadly duck tour boat crashes date back nearly two decades

The president of the company that owns Ride The Ducks Branson, Ripley Entertainment, told “CBS This Morning” that the boats have life jackets onboard but he added that passengers aren’t required by law to wear them. Jim Pattison said that, given the weather conditions, the boat “shouldn’t have been in the water.”

"Usually the lake is very placid and it's not a long tour, they go in and kind of around an island and back,” Pattison told “CBS This Morning” on Friday. “To the best of our knowledge – and we don't have a lot of information now – but it was a fast-moving storm that came out of basically nowhere.”

Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances leading to Thursday’s deadly incident.

Astronaut drops in on Kraftwerk gig, plays duet from space

Kraftwerk fans are used to hearing otherworldly tunes, but the German electronic music pioneers took it to another level at a gig in Stuttgart.

Video posted Saturday by the European Space Agency shows German astronaut Alexander Gerst "dropping in" for a live performance from the International Space Station.

Using a tablet computer with a virtual synthesizer, Gerst played a duet of Kraftwerk's 1978 song "Spacelab" with the band Friday night to cheers from the audience.

He's not the first space musician. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity" and played a duet with the Barenaked Ladies while 400 kilometers (250 miles) above the Earth in 2013.

American astronaut Ron McNair planned to play saxophone from orbit with Jean Michel Jarre in 1986 but died in the Challenger tragedy.

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Video: https://youtu.be/rCQEzgtWv-E

Margaret Thatcher's spouse not happy about McCartney invite

Most hosts would be quite happy to have Paul McCartney come to a shindig. But that wasn't the case with Denis Thatcher in 1988 when planning a gala reception at 10 Downing Street.

Newly released papers show that the late husband of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher put a question mark next to the former Beatle's name on a proposed guest list he was reviewing.

The papers, released Saturday, show Denis Thatcher leaving check marks next to the guests he approved and question marks next to those he was less comfortable with.

The papers didn't offer an explanation of why he questioned the inclusion of the ex-Beatle. In a note, he wrote that he didn't mind inviting guests who didn't back the prime minister but questioned inviting those who had criticized his wife in public.

"Whilst I accept of course that not everyone who comes to our receptions are necessarily on 'our' side I find it both unpleasant and embarrassing to entertain those who publicly insult the PM," he said.

The April 1988 reception was planned as a way to reward 45 celebrities who had attended a rally during Margaret Thatcher's successful 1987 general election campaign.

A decision was made to greatly expand the party, so a proposed guest list of more than 200 people was drawn up and eventually reviewed by Denis Thatcher.

The documents show he also questioned the inclusion of naturalist David Attenborough, track star Sebastian Coe and singer Shirley Bassey, best known for the "Goldfinger" title track.

All four went on to greater honors: McCartney — one of the most popular entertainers in the world — and Coe were later made knights and Bassey became a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2000.

Attenborough was already a knight when Denis Thatcher indicated his discomfort with inviting him. The 92-year-old broadcaster recently was given the rare honor of an extended interview with Queen Elizabeth II.

Denis Thatcher had no problem with other prominent figures, including composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber and actress Judi Dench. He approved of the inclusion of Rolf Harris, a popular TV entertainer who decades later was convicted of sexually abusing young girls.

In the end, officials decided to reduce the guest list to the original 45 celebrities, plus some members of Britain's winter Olympics squad — so the people on the longer list were never invited, even those with extra check marks next to their names indicating Denis Thatcher very much wanted them there.

The newly released papers also show that Margaret Thatcher loaned her teddy bear to the Teddy Bear Museum in Stratford-upon-Avon in 1988 so that it could be put on display.

The Margaret Thatcher Foundation is gradually releasing her private files. The public will be able to view much of the archive starting on Monday at www.margaretthatcher.org.

Millions fall for South Carolina dentist in viral ‘In My Fillings’ dance video

A dentist in Greenville, South Carolina, is inspiring millions to get their teeth cleaned after taking on the Drake-inspired “In My Feelings” dance challenge.

Dr. Rich Constantine’s version of the “shiggy” -- a dance inspired by the rapper -- has over 24 million views on Facebook.

>> Read more trending news 

Over 100,000 people have commented on the video since it was posted Thursday.

>>Related: Watch: Will Smith, Ciara join ‘In My Feelings’ challenge dance-off in epic fashion

“I have 12 wisdom teeth that need to be pulled, and I think my baby teeth trying to come back, and I swear my k 9s have become L 2's ( whatever that might mean) I just need an appt immediately, yesterday, right now!” one user said.

“I just ordered a pound of gummy bears and washing it down with fruit punch,” another woman commented. “Cavity Watch 2018!! I never wanted one so bad!”

“I found myself looking for his wedding ring, then I remembered that I’m married,” another said.

For the record, Constantine is married, KSLA reports.

No winner in Friday’s Mega Millions jackpot; prize skyrockets to $493 million

No winners in Friday’s Mega Millions means the jackpot keeps rising -- Tuesday’s drawing has topped $493 million.

It’s possible that the prize could surge over the half-billion mark based on ticket sales, lottery officials state.

>> Read more trending news 

Tuesday’s jackpot of $493 million will be the fifth-largest in Mega Millions history.

If there is a winner and they choose the cash payout, they will take home $296 million.

Friday’s winning numbers were 44-14-30-62-1, with a Mega Ball of 1.

While no one took home the big prize, there were two $1 million ticket winners, in Illinois and Pennsylvania.

There were over 1.8 million winning tickets in Friday’s drawing at all levels, with 47 ticket winners of $10,000.

Tuesday night’s drawing will take place July 24 at 11 p.m. ET.

An excited, energetic Taylor Swift brings tour to MetLife

Taylor Swift brought her explosive Reputation Tour to the MetLife Stadium on Friday and will make history as the first female artist to play three consecutive shows at the venue when she performs Saturday and Sunday.

Swift was energetic and excited during her two-hour-plus show at the stadium, home to the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

She kicked the show in a glittery black number, changing outfits multiple times and performing across three stages at the venue holding 80,000 seats.

She sang a number of songs from her recent album, "reputation," including the hits "Gorgeous," ''Delicate," ''...Ready for It?" and "Look What You Made Me Do," which featured a large snake in the background.

"There's so many things you could be doing on your Friday night, so thank you for hanging out with us," Swift said to the feverish audience.

Ticket mix-up put family on ill-fated Missouri tourist boat

More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn't have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she recalled the family members waiting in line. After they stopped for a picture, she said, a ticket taker realized they should have boarded at a different location and reassigned them.

The grief-stricken community, known for its country shows and entertainment, hosted two vigils Friday night. About 300 people gathered in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks of Branson and others mourned at a church, singing "Amazing Grace" at both locations.

At the rally at the duck boat business, the Rev. Zachary Klein said he had no words of comfort to offer the families of victims "because there simply are no words to comfort them."

Divers found the final four bodies Friday in Table Rock Lake near Branson after the deadliest accident of its kind in nearly two decades. State and federal investigators were trying to determine what went sent the vessel known as a duck boat to its demise. An initial assessment blamed thunderstorms and winds that approached hurricane strength, but it wasn't clear why the amphibious vehicle even ventured out into the water.

Mayor Karen Best said Branson is typically a city "full of smiles ... But today we are grieving and crying."

Officials haven't released names of the victims, but the sad details emerged throughout the day. Among them: A popular duck boat driver, a father and son visiting from Arkansas, and the nine Indiana relatives, many of them children.

The risk of heavy weather was apparent hours before the boat left shore.

The National Weather Service in Springfield, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Branson, issued a severe thunderstorm watch for its immediate area Thursday, saying conditions were ripe for winds of 70 mph. It followed up at 6:32 p.m. with a severe thunderstorm warning for three counties that included Branson and the lake. The warning mentioned both locations. The boat went down about 40 minutes later, shortly after 7 p.m.

"When we issue a warning, it means take action," meteorologist Kelsey Angle said.

A full investigation was underway, with help from the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board. Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader urged anyone with video or photos of the accident to contact authorities.

The agencies were briefing Missouri's two senators on the accident. Democrat Claire McCaskill said she would look into possible "legislative solutions," while Republican Roy Blunt called it a "tragedy that never should have happened."

Suzanne Smagala with Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said the company was assisting authorities. She said this was the company's only accident in more than 40 years of operation.

Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were aboard for a pleasure cruise. Seven of the 14 survivors were hurt when the vessel went down. At least two children and two adults were still hospitalized Friday afternoon. The captain survived, authorities said.

Among the injured was 14-year-old Loren Smith of Osceola, Arkansas. Her father, 53-year-old retired math teacher Steve, Smith, and her 15-year-old brother, Lance, died in the accident. Loren suffered a concussion but survived.

"It's a hard thing," Steve Smith's father, Carroll Smith, said of losing his only child and his only grandson. "It's a very difficult day."

Brayden Malaske, of Harrah, Oklahoma, boarded a replica 19th-century paddle-wheeler known as the Branson Belle on the same lake just before the storm hit.

At the time, he said, the water seemed calm, and no one was worried about the weather.

"But it suddenly got very dark," he recalled.

In a short video taken by Malaske from the deck of the Belle, the duck boat can be seen wallowing through the choppy, wind-whipped lake, with water only inches from its windows. Dark, rolling waves crash over its front end. The footage ends before the boat capsizes.

Later, people on Malaske's boat saw a duck boat passenger "hanging on for dear life" to the paddle wheel of the Belle, he said.

The mayor identified the crew member operating the boat as Bob Williams, known informally as "Captain Bob."

"He was a great ambassador for Branson," Best said. "He was at every event. He knew everyone. He was always promoting Branson."

A survivor from the family who lost nine relatives said the captain told passengers not to bother grabbing life jackets.

Tia Coleman told Indianapolis television station WXIN that she and a nephew were the only survivors among 11 relatives aboard the boat. She said she lost all her children, but she did not say how many.

Coleman said the captain told passengers that they would not need life jackets. By the time of the accident, "it was too late."

An email message seeking comment from Ripley Entertainment about Coleman's comment was not immediately returned.

Named for their ability to travel on land and in water, duck boats have been involved in other serious accidents in the past, including the deaths of more than 40 people since 1999.

Five college students were killed in 2015 in Seattle when a duck boat collided with a bus. Thirteen people died in 1999 when a boat sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas.

"Duck boats are death traps," said Andrew Duffy, an attorney whose Philadelphia law firm handled litigation related to two fatal duck boat accidents there. "They're not fit for water or land because they are half car and half boat."

Safety advocates have sought improvements and complained that too many agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements.

The boats were originally designed for the military, specifically to transport troops and supplies in World War II. They were later modified for use as sightseeing vehicles.

The sheriff said Thursday that two duck boats were on the water at the time of the storm. Both were headed back to land. One returned safely. The other did not.

Divers quickly located the sunken vessel, which came to rest on its wheels on the lakebed. Authorities planned to recover it at some point in the next few days.

The boat sank in 40 feet (12 meters) of water and then rolled on its wheels into a deeper area with 80 feet (25 meters) of water.

The Ride the Ducks tour begins in downtown Branson, where the vehicles take passengers on a tour while the captain cracks jokes and points out landmarks. Eventually, the boats pull up to the lake and slowly enter the water with a small splash.

After a few minutes on the water, the vehicles return to land and to their home base, which features a store selling candy and souvenirs.

Table Rock Lake, east of Branson, was created in the late 1950s when the Corps of Army Engineers built a dam across the White River to provide hydroelectric power to the Ozarks.

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Associated Press writers Hannah Grabenstein in Branson; Jim Salter in St. Louis; Heather Hollingsworth in Kansas City, Missouri; and John Hanna in Topeka, Kansas; and AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

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For the latest updates on this story: https://bit.ly/2NwoQVz.

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