‘Don’t worry about life jackets – you won’t need them’: Duck boat survivor whose NINE relatives – including her husband and 3 kids – drowned, claims the captain waved them away from safety vests

Saturday, July 21, 2018
By Paul Martin

Survivor of duck boat sinking says passengers told they didn’t need life jackets
Tia Coleman, who lost nine family members on Thursday, is one of 14 who lived
She says there would have been more survivors if they’d all been in life jackets
Of 31 passengers and crew, 17 died on the Missouri lake on Thursday night
Four of the fatalities were children, with oldest victim being 73 years old
The duck boat they were on was built in 1944, the US Coast Guard said

By HANNAH MOORE
DAILYMAIL.COM
21 July 2018

A woman who lost nearly her entire family on a doomed duck boat ride in Missouri on Thursday night says passengers were told: ‘don’t worry about grabbing the life jackets’.

Tia Coleman, who lost nine members of her family, including her husband and her three children, was one of only 14 people who survived when the Ride the Ducks boat capsized on Table Rock Lake in Branson, during a sudden and severe storm.

She told FOX 59 11 members of the family, including herself, had been on board at the time. ‘My heart is very heavy,’ she said.

‘When it was time to grab them, it was too late,’ she said. ‘A lot of people could have been spared.’

DailyMail.com has attempted to contact Ripley’s Entertainment for comment on Tia’s claims. It is legal to be on a commercial vessel without a life jacket in Missouri.

Speaking from her hospital bed, Tia tearfully told Reuters 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 Rest…HERE

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