A survivor of the duck boat tragedy in Missouri has described the pain of losing her children and her husband in a disaster that claimed the lives of nine members of her family. In all, 17 bodies have been recovered after the tourist vessel capsized and sank in stormy weather on Table Rock Lake. Relatives said the family were on holiday, a chance for three generations to spend time together, while Tia Coleman told Indianapolis television station WXIN that she and a nephew were the only survivors among 11 relatives aboard the boat. “I lost all of my children,” she said. “I lost my husband. I lost my mother-in-law and my father-in-law. I lost my uncle. I lost my sister-in-law… she was my sister. And I lost my nephew. Our hearts are heavy tonight. Nine members of the Coleman family, including several children, lost their lives in the duck boat accident in Branson, Missouri. They are from Indiana. pic.twitter.com/qRiQCnzTGz— Kelly Reinke (@KellyReinkeTV) July 20, 2018 “I’m okay, but this is really hard.” She also claimed passengers were told, “don’t worry about grabbing life jackets – you won’t need them” – a phrase that she believes may have cost lives. Although duck boats are required to carry life jackets, an investigation into a 1999 tragedy, when seven victims were found trapped inside the vessel, found that buoyancy aides “forced them into the overhead canopy which acted like a net to entrap them”. Rescue personnel at work after the amphibious vessel sank Credit: Southern Stone County Fire Protection District/Reuters Tragically, a witness said the nine Indiana family members were only put on the ill-fated boat because of a ticket mix-up. Tracy Beck said she and her family were waiting in line for another boat when the other family had a group p hotograph taken by the tour company. The ticket taker realised the Coleman family should have boarded at a different location, she said, and issued them new tickets before they boarded the boat that later sank as a storm closed in. Relatives told the IndyStar that four children under the age of 10 were among the dead. People pray outside Ride the Ducks facility in Branson, Missouri Credit: Charlie Riedel/AP Ingrid Coleman Douglas said she had lost her her two uncles, aunt, cousins and their children. “ They were very loved,” she said. She named them as her uncles Horace “Butch” Coleman and Irving Raymond Coleman; her aunt, Belinda Coleman; cousins, Angela Coleman and Glenn Coleman; Angela’s two-year-old son Maxwell; Glenn’s two sons Evan and Reece; and his one-year-old daughter, Arya. She added that they often spent holidays together.
Source: Yahoo! News