Inspector says he warned duck boat company about design flaws

23 July, 2018, 18:24 | Author: Donnie King
  • Tia Coleman

Coleman and 30 others rode the duck boat Thursday night when a severe thunderstorm swept through Table Rock Lake, tossing the boat around in almost hurricane force winds and six foot swells.

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

A private inspector said Saturday that he warned the company operating the duck boats about design flaws putting the watercraft at greater risk of sinking, less than a year before the accident.

Asked whether she was happy to be alive, she told a reporter, "I don't know yet, time will tell".

Rick Kettles, who owns the Lakeside Resort General Store and Restaurant, said: "I have been on my lake most of my life and I have never seen it like this". "'I will show you where they are but you won't need them so don't worry.' So we didn't grab them".

Relatives of the Branson duck-boat sinking victims embrace at the end of Sunday's memorial service near Branson, Mo. Tia Coleman lost her husband Glenn, her three children and five of her in-laws. The boat struggled against the turbulent waves on Table Rock Lake, a normally placid body of water churned by a violent thunderstorm.

Spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala has noted that Thursday's accident was the only one in more than 40 years of operation.

Coleman, who lost nine family members in the ship's capsizing, shared her story of survival Saturday afternoon at a news conference at the hospital where she's being treated.

Image: Eight of the nine Coleman family members who are thought to have died.

"There were a lot of people who just, the second they had a minute to calm down, they were crying". But when water came rushing into their boat Thursday during a ride on Table Rock Lake, Coleman didn't know what to do.

Divers are expected to swim down and connect the duck boat to a crane, which will then try to lift the boat from where it rests beneath 80 feet of water, according to a Coast Guard official. Crew members told them a storm was heading toward them but there didn't appear to be any danger.

More than a dozen survivors of the tragedy, along with their family and friends, filled the front pews of the church to organ music.

"I said, Lord, let me die". The vehicle took on water, capsized and sank, settling at the bottom, taking 17 lives with it.

A surviving relative told United States media that the boat's captain had told the 31 passengers not to put on life jackets.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the 31 people aboard the Missouri tourist boat that sank weren't wearing life jackets.

"I was yelling. I was screaming", she said.

"We were actually at the pool when the storm hit the day before, though we had 10 of the 15 people in our party going on the boat". Nine were from IN, all from the Coleman family: Angela, 45; Belinda, 69; Ervin, 76; Glenn, 40; Horace, 70; Reece, 9; Eva, 7; Maxwell, 2; and Arya, 1.



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