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What we know about the Missouri Duck Boat Incident



The amphibious amphibious vehicle Ride the Ducks Branson had 31 people on board when it set sail on Thursday at Table Rock Lake near Branson, Missouri, when a violent thunderstorm stirred up fierce winds and waves

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[19659002] Tia Coleman and 10 of her relatives have boarded a duck boat during their family vacation to visit Table Rock Lake. Only she and her nephew survived as the boat sank.

Her husband, three children, and five other members of her family died in the accident.

Coleman sometimes cried as she tried to help her family and save herself on Saturday.

She said all the time she was trying to come to her children, "Lord, please, I have to go to my babies, I have to go to my babies," she reminded herself on Saturday and talked to reporters at Cox Medical Center Branson where she was hospitalized.

Coleman said that she hit her head when she tried to leave the boat and was later pulled out of the water.

The victims did not wear life jackets when they were found

  People who were killed in the tragedy of duck boats did not wear life jackets when they were found

None of the victims who died carried life jackets when they were found, a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Sunday.

The duck boat contained life jackets, but passengers were not required to carry them, according to sheriff Doug Rader of Stone County.

Coleman said the captain mentioned the life jackets before they went to the lake.

"The captain said something about lifejackets and said," The lifejackets are over you, three sizes, but you won "Do not need them," Coleman said on Saturday night.

Fellow survivor, Talyssa Mann, a 19-year-old from Carlsbad, New Mexico, said Coleman's statement about lifejackets was correct.

"I felt that if I was able to get a life jacket, I could have saved my babies because they could at least float up and someone could have grabbed them," Coleman told reporters

Victim age spans decades

  Duck boat victims: 9 family members among 17 deceased

The victims were between 1 and 76 years old, the authorities said.

Nine of the victims were the Colemans. They were Angela, 45; Arya, 1; Belinda, 69; Ervin, 76; Evan, 7; Glenn, 40; Horace, 70; Maxwell, 2; and Reece, 9. They were on a family vacation from Indiana.

The duckboat driver, Robert Williams, 73, died in doom, said his widow Judy Williams.

Other victims included Steve Smith, a retired teacher from Osceola, Arkansas, and his teenage son Lance; William and Janice Bright, a couple from Higginsville, Missouri; William Asher and his partner Rosemarie Hamann from Missouri; and Leslie Dennison of Illinois, according to family friends, CNN affiliates and local media reports.

NTSB investigation could take a year

State investigators examine whether any criminal acts have been committed while the National Road Safety Council investigates the cause of sinking. The NTSB study could take up to a year.

State investigators are also investigating why the ship changed the route it took that day, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley said Saturday. He could not say if investigators had spoken to the captain of the boat, one of 14 survivors.

On Thursday, the area around Branson was subjected to a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 18:30. locally, about half an hour before the boat sank. According to the sheriff of Stone County, the authorities received the first emergency call for the sinking at 19:09.

The boat sank 40 feet and then rolled on an area 80 feet deep, Rader said.

Ride the Ducks Branson said it was deeply distressed and the deal would be closed "while we support the investigation and give time to the families and the community."

"Words can not convey how fundamentally our hearts break," it says in a statement. "We will continue to do everything we can to help the families and authorities involved in the search and rescue."

CNN's Kaylee Hartung, AnneClaire Stapleton and Steve Almasy have contributed to this report.


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