Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
Global Media | By Jackie Banks

Branson community and visitors react to deadly Ride the Ducks tragedy

Branson community and visitors react to deadly Ride the Ducks tragedy

A sunken duck tourist boat that led to the deaths of 17 people faced near-hurricane-like conditions on Table Rock Lake Thursday. Tia and Donovan Coleman were the only family members who managed to escape the sinking boat.

"It helps us remember and helps us to be grateful for every day, and hopefully it will be comforting for the families", said Katie Garrett, a tourist who stopped by with her grandchildren. She said she saw them taking group photos in her queue to board a second tour craft.

"I was yelling, I was screaming, and finally I said, 'Lord, just let me die, let me die, ' I said". I couldn't feel anybody, I couldn't see.

In total, she lost her husband, three children, her uncle, nephew, mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law.

Image: Eight of the nine Coleman family members who are thought to have died.

A GoFundMe account has been created to help the Coleman family.

There were life jackets on the boat, according to Rader, who said he didn't know if people were wearing them.

Citing the ongoing investigation, the company declined to comment and referred all inquiries to the NTSB.

Two years ago, MA implemented a law requiring significant safety upgrades on duck boats after 28-year-old Allison Warmuth was hit and killed by a duck boat while riding on a scooter in Beacon Hill.

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Branson Mayor Karen Best said Williams, the boat driver, was known by many as "Captain Bob" and was a "great ambassador" for the city.

"Salvage is not our purview", he said, referring questions about the raising of the duck to the Coast Guard and the owners of the Ride the Ducks Branson operation, Ripley Entertainment.

A memorial service was held Sunday for the people killed.

She said the crew and passengers were aware there was a storm brewing, but the water was calm when they set out on their cruise.

In central Wisconsin, Original Wisconsin Ducks in the Dells has no plans to change how it operates after 73 years of safe rides, general manager Dan Gavinski said.

The boats aren't new to controversy and have been involved in other deadly accidents over the years, both on land and in water. Later they were modified for use as sightseeing vehicles. Add Duck Boat Accident as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Duck Boat Accident news, video, and analysis from ABC News.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Missouri State Highway Patrol are each separately investigating the duck boat tragedy.

The Coast Guard requires life jackets on boats but for amphibious tour boats, which are part boat and part bus, recommendations are left up to the captain on whether to request passengers to wear the jackets. Divers also recovered the recorder from the duck that sank.

The boat sank in 40 feet of water and then rolled on its wheels into a deeper area with 80 feet of water.

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