Branson community and visitors react to deadly Ride the Ducks tragedy

Hugh Fox
July 23, 2018

An archived version of Ripley's website said it operates 20 duck boats in Branson and described them as "built from the ground up under United States Coast Guard (USCG) supervision with the latest in marine safety".

The service will be held Sunday afternoon at the College of the Ozarks, near Table Rock Lake, where the duck boat sank Thursday, killing 17 people. She said the operators of the boats will show passengers where life vests are, but she has never seen any rider put one on.

"We'll look at the vessel, we'll look at the operation of the vessel, we'll look at the people involved, we'll look at the environment", said Earl Weener, a National Transportation Safety Board Member.

Her son Todd said on Thursday his daughter, who is recovering in hospital, said she could feel Leslie pushing her up as the boat filled with water. "Help me get to my babies", adding, "Lord, if I can't make it, there's no use keeping me here".

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They found that canopy on the duck boat (in the Arkansas case) made it harder for people to get out of the sinking boat. "I don't know how I'm going to do it". Tia Coleman lost her husband Glenn, her three children and five of her in-laws.

Tia Coleman, center, a survivor of the Ride the Ducks incident on Table Rock Lake on Thursday, July 19, 2018, is comforted by her sisters Leeta Bigbee, right, and Yelena Brackney following a press conference at Cox Medical Center Branson on Saturday, July 21, 2018.

"I lost control", she said. Mourners lit candles around cars left on the parking lot overnight - believed to belong to the victims. Rader said over the weekend he didn't know if people were wearing them. Before long, the small, flat-bottomed half-boat half-bus sank, plunging 80 feet to the bottom of the lake.

The boat was carrying 29 passengers and two crew members on a pleasure cruise, and everyone aboard had been accounted for by midday Friday. "Then the power went out for about 6 hours", said Steve Naragon, who was in town visiting with family.

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"I said, Lord, let me die". The captain mentioned the life jackets before they went on the lake but said, "you won't need them so we didn't grab them", Coleman said Saturday.

When Coleman surfaced, she waved her arms in the water and shouted for help to a nearby boat.

"The captain told us 'don't worry about grabbing the life jackets, you won't need them, ' so nobody grabbed them because we listened to the captain and he told us to stay seated", the family member said. The footage ends before the boat capsizes.

Keith Holloway, an NTSB spokesman, said it was also unclear whether the Branson duck boat's video-recording device had any audio capabilities.

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"They are unsafe on land and on water". Nine were from IN, all from the Coleman family: Angela, 45; Belinda, 69; Ervin, 76; Glenn, 40; Horace, 70; Reece, 9; Eva, 7; Maxwell, 2; and Arya, 1. Clifford also called for greater regulation of duck boats.

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