Woman Who Lost 9 Family Members on Duck Boat Speaks

Tia Coleman says captain said life jackets weren't necessary
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2018 5:30 AM CDT
Woman Who Lost 9 Family Members on Duck Boat Speaks
People pray next to a car believed to belong to a victim of a last night's duck boat accident, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Branson, Mo.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Among the 31 people aboard the duck boat that capsized on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, Thursday night, were 11 members of an Indiana family, only two of whom survived. One of those survivors, Tia Coleman, spoke with Fox59 by phone Friday; she says the other survivor was her nephew. Among the dead: all her children, her husband, and many of her in-laws, per Reuters. She alleges the boat's captain waved off the need for life jackets, saying "you won't need them." She says none of her family members had them on, and "when it was time to grab them, it was too late and I believe that a lot of people could have been spared."

Ozarks First has more from Coleman, who spoke about being in the water. She said in part, "I can't see anybody, I couldn't hear anything, I couldn't hear screams, it feels like I was out there on my own. And I was yelling, screaming and finally I said, 'Lord just let me die, let me die, I can't keep drowning.'" She said she subsequently saw life jackets being thrown from a nearby boat. (Read more duck boat stories.)

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