Coast Guard to raise duck boat that sank in storm, killing 17

Duck Boat Survivor Cries Over 9 Relatives’ Drowning & Reveals Captain Said They Didn’t Need Life Vests

Nine family members among victims of US 'duck boat' tragedy

Investigators raised the duck boat, July 23, 2018, that capsized killing 17 people on Table Rock Lake near Banson, Miss.

Coleman told reporters that she hit her head as she tried to exit the boat, possibly butting up against the canopy.

"My husband would want me to say this - he would want the world to know that on this boat we were on, the captain had told us "don't worry about grabbing the life jackets - you won't need them" so nobody grabbed them as we listened to the captain as he told us to stay seated", Coleman told Fox News. The law also requires duck boats to be equipped with blind spot cameras and proximity sensors.

Chance took the Colemans to the doomed vessel.

Coleman said at Saturday's news conference that she doesn't know yet whether she is happy she survived.

Passengers were told there was a storm coming before they went out on the water, Coleman said. The area had been under a severe-thunderstorm watch for hours and a severe-storm warning for more than 30 minutes before the boat sank. "When that boat is found, all those life jackets are going to be on there because nobody pulled one off".


Coleman said she thinks if she had been able to get a life jacket to her children - she had a son sitting next to her - she could have saved them. "Since I have had a home, it has always been filled with little feet and laughter", she said, choking back tears.

There were life jackets on the boat, according to Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader.

The Coast Guard surfaced the sunken duck boat on Monday, a process that was expected to last into the afternoon, and plans to then take the boat to a facility for further inspection. Investigators determined that the vessel, built by the Army in 1944, was not designed for passenger service. An initial assessment blamed thunderstorms and winds that approached hurricane strength, but it wasn't clear why the amphibious vehicle even ventured into the water.

After the accident, the former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, James Hall, claimed that this style of vessel is not suitable for commercial use.

Jim Hall, who served as NTSB chairman from 1993 to 2001, spoke to KMBC 9 News Sunday afternoon, saying the amphibious vehicles are very unsafe. Hall said duck-boat tours are essentially unregulated amusement park rides, a criticism others have leveled because the amphibious vehicles don't fall neatly into being either a boat or a bus.

Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were aboard. She and her nephew Donovan were the only two of their family who survived. She called it "such a tragedy".


Another young survivor was 14-year-old Loren Smith of Osceola.

He also told The Associated Press that the tourist boats' canopies make them hard to escape when they sink - a concern raised by regulators after a similar sinking in Arkansas killed 13 people in 1999. The couple had recently celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary and had talked about Branson being one of their last big trips, recalled neighbor Barbara Beck.

The couple have three daughters and 16 grandchildren - their 17th was on the way. Life, he wrote, had "been a lot of fun".

Stoermer declined to comment on the condition of the boat, it being part of the investigation.

Robert "Bob" Williams, 73, was driving the boat when it went down in Table Rock Lake.

12 of the 17 passengers who perished were visiting from out-of-state; nine were from a single family from Indiana. "Those who were once strangers to us quickly became family", Best said.


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