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Desperate last words heard by mother who lost NINE relatives - including her husband and three kids - aboard Missouri duck boat, as it's claimed the captain told passengers NOT to wear life jackets

{VIDEO} Seventeen dead, seven injured after duck-boat carrying 31 including at least three children, CAPSIZESTia Coleman, one of only two family members on the boat who survived, says they were told not to worry about putting on life jackets when the boat entered the water. Tia (pictured) said she had prepared herself to die when she finally began to float back to the surface

  • Tia Coleman is one of two people from her family of 11 who survived the duck boat tragedy on Thursday night 
  • Her one-year-old daughter, sons and her husband died along with other members of her large family
  • Before the boat went down, she heard people screaming to rescue the children onboard 
  • Others have since told that the captain knew a powerful storm was coming and changed course because of it
  • The duck boat was meant to go on the water at Table Rock Lake at the end of the hour-long tour
  • To try to avoid the storm, the captain instructed that it go on the water first but they were not fast enough 
  • Passengers have told how he told them not to 'worry' about putting on their life jackets on the boat 
  • Once it began to sink, the captain released the canopy of the boat which allowed some people to swim free 
  • Seventeen people died in total, 14 survived - including the captain - and seven had to be hospitalized 

The tragic final words of some of the victims of the Missouri duck boat disaster on Thursday were 'grab the babies', it has been revealed.

Seconds before the Ride the Ducks boat capsized, the 31 passenger and crew on board scrambled to save the many children who were on board after a severe thunderstorm rolled over the lake and thrashed it with 60mph winds.

Seventeen people died including nine members of the Coleman family from Indianapolis.

On Saturday, one of only two surviving members of the family told how her husband and the other adults tried to save their young children before it was too late.

All three of Tia's children who were aged one to nine died along with her husband.

Her aunt has since told how she spoke to her on the phone from her hospital bed.

'I asked her what was their last words… She said all she could hear and say was, ‘Grab the babies!’ And that was it. They got one group of waves and then they got a second one, and that’s when the boat started to sink,' Carolyn Coleman told MSN.    

The boat was meant to go on the water at the end of its 60 minutes tour but the captain changed course in anticipation of the storm.  

He decided that they would switch the order to get the water part out of the way first and thought he would be able to avoid the storm, Coleman said. The captain has not yet been named. He was one of the fourteen people who survived. 

'There was a warning… the warning people said take them out to the water first, before the storm hit,' Tia told Fox 39. 

Nine members of the same family (eight pictured) were killed on Thursday night after a duck boat capsized on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri (from top left: Butch Coleman, Ray Coleman, Glenn Coleman, Angela Coleman (seen holding Maxwell). From bottom left: Reece Coleman, Belinda Coleman and Evan Coleman)
Nine members of the same family (eight pictured) were killed on Thursday night after a duck boat capsized on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri (from top left: Butch Coleman, Ray Coleman, Glenn Coleman, Angela Coleman (seen holding Maxwell). From bottom left: Reece Coleman, Belinda Coleman and Evan Coleman)
Bystander films the duck boat before capsizing in a Lake

Speaking from her hospital bed, Tia tearfully told Reuters earlier of her horrific experience trying to get out of the boat. 

'I couldn't see anybody, I couldn't hear anything - I couldn't hear screams - it felt like I was out there on my own,' she said.

'I was yelling, I was screaming and finally I said: "Lord, just let me die, let me die - I can't keep drowning, I just can't...

'Then I just let go, and I started floating, and I was floating to the top and I felt the water temperature raise to warm, and I jumped up and saw the big boat that sits out there.

'When I saw [the first responders helping survivors on the pier], they were throwing out life jackets to people. And I said: 'Jesus keep me, just keep me so I can get to my children'.

The NWS issued a severe weather warning at 6.30pm, 30 minutes before the boat went down. Witnesses say the duck boat crew knew about it and changed courses because of it, going on to the lake first instead of doing to the land portion of the tour 

The NWS issued a severe weather warning at 6.30pm, 30 minutes before the boat went down. Witnesses say the duck boat crew knew about it and changed courses because of it, going on to the lake first instead of doing to the land portion of the tour 

Once the boat began to sink, the captain released the canopy which survivors have said saved their lives. 

It allowed them to finally swim free after being trapped. 

Fifteen-year-old Gillian Keller told her mother that it was 'so hard' to escape before the canopy top was released. 

Her mother Mandi, who was not on the boat, told The Kansas City Star on Saturday how the captain was 'freaking out' when they got into trouble in the water.

'They were all closed. The windows were closed and the top was on. They were all stuck in there until that top came off,' she said. 

Mandi was with her father and other relatives who all survived.  

'None of them ever want to get on a boat again. Not one of them.  

'She’s sad — very sad. She’s only 15 and she witnessed a lot of lives lost, and she’s traumatized,' she said of her teenage daughter. 

'Gillian said the captain was freaking out. She said, "I was freaking out because he was freaking out."' 

The Coleman family were planning to go to Florida but they changed their itinerary because Missouri was a shorter drive. 

Theirs was not the only fateful final decision. 

Victims Rosemarie Hamann, 68, and 69-year-old William Asher were planning to go on a larger steam boat but they changed their plan at the last minute to go on the duck boat, according to their neighbor. 

From Tia's family, only she and her nephew survived. A picture submitted to media outlets by the family shows eight of the nine Coleman victims, stretched over three generations and including at four children - three of whom were Tia's.

Family patriarch, 'Butch' Coleman was remembered on social media as a 'community legend', who spent more than 40 years volunteering in his community.  

A woman who met the Coleman family before they boarded revealed they had only been on the doomed boat because they'd gone to the wrong pick-up area.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, says she and her family were waiting in line for another boat when the Colemans stopped talking to have a group picture taken by the tour company.

Tia Coleman, one of only two family members on the boat who survived, says they were told not to worry about putting on life jackets when the boat entered the water. Tia (pictured) said she had prepared herself to die when she finally began to float back to the surface
Tia Coleman, one of only two family members on the boat who survived, says they were told not to worry about putting on life jackets when the boat entered the water. Tia (pictured) said she had prepared herself to die when she finally began to float back to the surface

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The boat belonged to local company Ride the Ducks, which run tours of the area on both land and water. File image pictured. The windows were up when the boat capsized 

  • The Ride the Ducks boat capsized on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, on Thursday at 7pm 
  • The boat was carrying 31 people when aggressive storms rolled over the area and thrashed the water 
  • Eleven people were pulled dead from the water on Friday night and seven were taken to the hospital 
  • On Friday morning, another six bodies were pulled from the water including three belonging to children 
  • The dead range in age from a one-year-old baby to a 70-year-old but they are yet to be publicly identifie
  • The boat's driver died but its captain was one of the 14 people who survived the incident  
  • Passengers on other boats on the water filmed harrowing footage of the boat being overpowered by waves  
  • The National Weather Service issued a severe storm warning at 6.30pm on Thursday, 30 minutes earlier 

Four more bodies have been pulled from the water where a duck boat capsized on Thursday night, bringing the total death toll from the tragedy to 17.  

All of the victims were on board the Ride the Ducks amphibious vessel when a powerful storm rolled over the lake, lashing the water with 60mph winds at around 7pm. 

Fourteen people survived, including the boat's captain. Seven people were hospitalized with injuries. 

Those who died range in age from one to 70. Among them was the boat's driver.

Search and rescue teams sectioned off part of the lake to continue their recovery of the four missing bodies on Friday morning.

The first 11 bodies were found on Thursday night and six more were recovered the next day.  

The lake which is 229ft seep and has a surface area of 43,100 acres was partially reopened to the public on Friday morning. 

Now, authorities must bring the boat wreckage back to the shore to investigate why it failed.  

Shocking video shows the boat being lashed by strong, massive waves for about five minutes before becoming submerged in the lake
Shocking video shows the boat being lashed by strong, massive waves for about five minutes before becoming submerged in the lake

Shocking video shows the boat being lashed by strong, massive waves for about five minutes before it became entirely submerged. It was filmed by a passenger on another boat nearby which was more sturdy. Its crew tried to save the duck boat passengers but couldn't 

The boat belonged to local company Ride the Ducks, which run tours of the area on both land and water. File image pictured. The windows were up when the boat capsized 

The boat belonged to local company Ride the Ducks, which run tours of the area on both land and water. File image pictured. The windows were up when the boat capsized 

DUCK BOAT COMPANY STATEMENT 

We are deeply saddened by the tragic accident that occurred at Ride The Ducks Branson.

This incident has deeply affected all of us. Words cannot convey how profoundly our hearts are breaking.

We will continue to do all we can to assist the families who were involved and the authorities as they continue with the search and rescue.

The safety of our guests and employees is our number one priority. Ride the Ducks will be closed for business while we support the investigation, and to allow time to grieve for the families and the community.

Thank you for your support, and we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this time.

A severe storm warning was issued by local agencies at 6.30pm, 30 minutes before the boat got into trouble.  

The tour departs every 30 minutes and costs $26 for an adult ticket.  According to a description on a tour website, the boat is only ever on the water for 25 minutes but is an hour long and also traverses land. 

As it was overpowered with waves on Thursday night, passengers on other boats nearby watched helplessly. They filmed harrowing footage of the scene which cut out just before the boat capsized.

The initial death toll on Thursday night was 11.  On Friday morning, authorities resumed their search for the six people who were missing and pulled two more bodies from the water. 

The incident is being described by police as a 'mass casualty'. None of the victims have been identified.  

At a press conference in Branson on Friday, Governor Mike Parson said the reason for the tragedy remained unclear. 

Neither he nor local sheriffs know whether the boat operators checked the weather forecast before taking to the water. 

'Needless to say the things that have occurred in the last 24 hours, it is a sad occasion with a lot of families involved,' Governor Parson said. 

Some of the victims were on vacation in Missouri from other states. 

Authorities are now trying to contact all of the victims' families.

President Trump tweeted his sympathies for the families involved on Friday morning 

President Trump tweeted his sympathies for the families involved on Friday morning 

There were life jackets on the boat but it is not clear if they were accessed before the vessel went down. 

The boat's captain survived but its driver was among those who died. 

Passengers and crew on a nearby boat, the Branson Belle, watched from the shore as the smaller boat got into trouble. 

Among them was an off-duty sheriff's deputy who leaped into the water to rescue some of the passengers on the duck boat. 

The recovery effort resumed on Friday morning and six more bodies were pulled from the water by noon 

The recovery effort resumed on Friday morning and six more bodies were pulled from the water by noon 

Search and rescue teams (left) patrol the water as a larger, show boat called the Branson Belle (right) remains docked 

Search and rescue teams (left) patrol the water as a larger, show boat called the Branson Belle (right) remains docked 

A park ranger searches the lake on Friday morning before the last four bodies were found. The death toll is 17 

A park ranger searches the lake on Friday morning before the last four bodies were found. The death toll is 17 

Other passengers and the boat's crew also tried to help while others filmed videos from the windows, helplessly watching as the duck boat went under. 

The National Weather Service in Springfield issued this severe thunderstorm warning at 6.32pm, just 30 minutes before the boat got into trouble on the water. It remains unclear if the boat was already on the water by the time it was issued 

The National Weather Service in Springfield issued this severe thunderstorm warning at 6.32pm, just 30 minutes before the boat got into trouble on the water. It remains unclear if the boat was already on the water by the time it was issued 

Jennie Carr was one of them. She captured harrowing footage of waves crashing over the duck boat until it vanished beneath water. 

 'You could see it (the storm) approaching... We looked to our left and that’s when we seen the duck, then we seen another one coming.

'The one that sunk was having trouble, it couldn't go very fast. The waves went over the top of it.

‘I videoed it as much as I could for as long as I could until it went round the showboat and that's where it sank,' she told Today on Friday morning. 

‘First we really didn't realize that it had sunk then when all the crew started running and the captain was giving orders to all the crew to get the life vests and to get out there and help them, we cried a little bit. I went to the window and I prayed and I cried. There wasn’t nothing you could do.

‘I’m sad and I want to help but I can’t help. I don’t know what to do. It was really sad that I knew some of these people wouldn’t get to go home.’      

This was the scene at the lake on Thursday night as the scale of the tragedy became plain 
A severe thunderstorm that rolled over the area, causing winds of up to 60mph, is believed to have caused the tragic accident (pictured: divers are on scene looking for more bodies and living passengers)

A severe thunderstorm that rolled over the area, causing winds of up to 60mph, is believed to have caused the tragic accident (pictured: divers are on scene looking for more bodies and living passengers)

Emergency services from nearby counties rushed in to help with the rescue. They are shown in the parking lot on Thursday night

Emergency services from nearby counties rushed in to help with the rescue. They are shown in the parking lot on Thursday night

Due to a lack of light, divers wrapped up the operation about midnight and headed back to shore. 

A top wind speed of 63mph was measured at 7pm, when the boat was on the water. 

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Linderberg said the winds were likely stronger over the lake, adding: 'There’s nothing to slow down winds in an open area'.

Suzanne Smagala, of Ripley Entertainment, which owns Ride the Ducks in Branson, said the company was assisting authorities with the rescue effort. 

She added this was the Branson tour's first accident in more than 40 years of operation.  

Duck amphibious vehicles have been involved in a number fatal accidents around the world in the past two decades, with some sinking or being swamped or others colliding with vehicles.

The vehicles have been involved in other deadly incidents in the past. 

They include one in 2015 in Seattle in which five college students were killed when a boat collided with a bus, and one in 1999 that left 13 dead after a boat sank near Hot Springs, Arkansas.

Safety advocates have sought improvements to the boats since the Arkansas incident. Critics argued that part of the problem is numerous agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements. 

Pictured: An aerial view of Table Rock lake, where the duck boat capsized

Pictured: An aerial view of Table Rock lake, where the duck boat capsized

36 DEAD IN DUCK BOAT ACCIDENTS SINCE 1999 

At least 36 people have died in duck boat-related incidents since the land-to-water vehicles became tourist attractions in the late 90s.

May 1, 1999 - 13 dead after a duck boat sank in Lake Hamilton in Arkansas

June 23, 2002 - Four dead after a duck boat sinks in the Ottawa River near Parliament Hill in the Canadian capital 

July 7, 2010 - Ride the Ducks boat overrun by a barge after engine fire, killing two

April 29, 2015 - Duck boat collides with motor scooter in Boston, killing a 29-year-old woman 

May 8, 2015 - Woman killed after being hit by a Ride the Ducks boat while crossing the street in Philadelphia

September 24, 2015 - Ride the Ducks boat hits bus carrying school students in Seattle, killing four 

July 19, 2018 - Ride the Ducks boat capsizes in Table Rock lake, Missouri, killing 11  

What is Ride the Ducks?

Ride the Ducks is a national tour operator with 90 amphibious vehicles, taking passengers on a sightseeing tour both on land and in the water. 

The design of the vessel is based on the DUKW trucks used in the Second World War.

The company was purchased by Herschend Family Entertainment Corporation in 2004, and a majority interest in the company was sold to a private buyer in 2012.

In late 2017, Ripley Entertainment announced they had purchased Ride the Ducks Branson. It is believed the company only owns the Branson branch of Ride the Ducks. 

Aerial: Images from the scene show debris strewn all over the narrow bridge in between the fire engines and ambulances 

Aerial: Images from the scene show debris strewn all over the road after a Ride the Ducks Boat crashed in September 2015, killing four

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Comment by Sufferahsmusic Media Prod on July 22, 2018 at 3:12pm
Just sad what a totally sad thing
Comment by Robert on July 22, 2018 at 8:41am
Research it these damn muther-fukin duck-boats have been killing people for the last 15 years. IN THE WATER AND ON LAND.. SHUT THIS SHYT DOWN!!!
Comment by caribmama on July 21, 2018 at 9:22pm

Notice how people in the video where casually eating while people where dying in the river and you can video tape, but not try to have someone call emergency.

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