Survivor of duck boat accident describes horrific scene

22 July, 2018, 01:12 | Author: Gregory Stephens
  • Eight of the nine Coleman family members who are believe to have died. Tia Coleman and her nephew survived

Josh Daniel, a local, organized the vigil on Friday, which took place in the parking lot for the Ride the Ducks boat tour - a spot where the vehicles driven to the tourist attraction by the victims still Saturday. Two adults were in critical condition, while the others were being treated for minor injuries, a Cox Medical Center spokesperson told CBS News.

A survivor of the tourist boat tragedy that killed 17 people, including nine of her relatives speaks about the moments that led up to her rescue.

Winds of up to 60mph were generated by the heavy thunderstorms that rolled over the area.

The duck boat - given that name for its ability to operate on land and in the water - is based off a military design used in World War II.

Gov. Parson said the main focus of the investigation is to unite the families and give them the resources needed.

"Our number one priority is the families and our employees that were affected by this tragic accident", said Suzanne Smagala-Potts a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, which owns the Ride The Ducks operation in Branson.

It is believed that severe weather could have caused the boat to capsize. "They're not fit for water or land because they are a half vehicle and half boat".

Also killed were 64-year-old Leslie Dennison of IL and 15-year-old Lance Smith and 53-year-old Steve Smith from Arkansas. He said there were life jackets on board, but he did not know whether people were wearing them. And past year, Boston-one of the most prominent duck boat tour cities-began adopting new safety regulations in the wake of concerns from critics.

The captain of the boat told everyone "don't worry about grabbing life jackets - you won't need them", and everyone followed the instructions, Coleman said. The National Weather Service had issued a severe-thunderstorm warning in the area roughly 30 minutes before officials were alerted to the sinking boat, according to The New York Times.

A group of mourners pause for a moment of prayer at Ride The Ducks Tours
Image A group of mourners paused for a moment of prayer at Ride the Duck's base in Branson

Passengers on the Ride the Ducks boat ride on Sunday night. The boat was enveloped by water.

"They had them readily available on top of each and every person's seat", rider Annetta McCoy said.

"Our hearts are broken in hearing of the Branson, Missouri Duckboat tragedy", her parents, Martha and Ivan Warmuth, said in a statement Friday.

"Usually the lake is very placid, and it's not a long tour".

Authorities confirmed that one-year-old Arya Coleman was the youngest member of the family to die in the incident while Ervin Coleman, 76, was the oldest.

Ride the Ducks Seattle says they are not affiliated with the company in Branson, Missouri, and that they follow stricter rules here than the U.S. Coast Guard prescribes when determining whether or not they get in the water.

There was actually another duck boat on the water at the time.

The previous deadliest accident was in 1999 when 13 people died when a duck boat sank in Arkansas.


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