Memorial service planned Missouri boating accident victims

Seventeen dead, more missing after storm sinks 'duck boat'

A GoFundMe account has been created to help the Coleman family. They rented a van, and on Tuesday the family of 11 spanning three generations headed out on summer vacation together.

Coleman, whose 13-year-old nephew, Donovan, also survived the accident, said there had been little sign of danger before the massive swell overcame the vessel.

Tia Colemans husband and all of her three children died.

"I said, 'Lord, please, let me get to my babies", she told reporters from her wheelchair in hospital where she is recovering after swallowing lake water.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she recalled the family members waiting in line. Tias voice was calm on the phone, and Carolyn assumed she was probably still in shock, as if the weight of her loss had yet to take its toll.

"The last thing I heard my sister-in-law yell was, ‘Grab the baby!"

Coleman said she was trapped inside the boat and described what she thought would be the end.

Life jackets were on the boat, but there is no regulation mandating that duck boat passengers wear them, Pattison said Friday. She said this was the company's only accident in more than 40 years of operation.

"And when I saw 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 tragedy was a sudden departure from what had been, for many, a lovely summer day in the Midwestern retreat.

Twenty-nine passengers and two crew members were aboard.

Coleman said she knew she was in deep water because it was cold and she struggled to get the top. "Right now, were hurting and were not smiling".

Investigators have retrieved a video recorder from the duck boat that sank and it's been sent to Washington for analysis, and they've also retrieved video from the second duck boat that was on the water at the same time.

Coleman urged people to remember her late family members "as the attractive people they were". "They were starting to panic", Tomasetti said, noting that he wanted to help in any way possible.

Weener said the owner of Ride the Ducks Branson, Ripley Entertainment, has been cooperating fully with the investigation. Tomasetti stood in the front of the crowd in the embrace of his loved ones, all in tears. He doesn't know why they chose the duck boat instead. Josh Daniel, who lives nearby, placed one flower on each vehicle earlier that day. Williams' family in Rhode Island, where he'd lived for decades before retiring to Branson, remembered him as a deeply religious man who founded a local church.

Soon, the crowd broke into song amid sniffles and sobs: "Amazing Grace", "How Great Thou Art" and "It Is Well With My Soul". Neither of them knew the victims, but they said they felt compelled to join, both to say prayers and show gratitude.

Coleman said she's never been through something this hard. The amphibious vehicle is similar to one of the company's boats that capsized the day before on Table Rock Lake.

Branson, near the Arkansas border with a population of 10,500, sees about 8 million tourists annually and is a destination for country music, amusement parks and outdoor activities.

"If you have the information that you could have rough waters or a storm coming, why ever put a boat on that water?"

"Why did that boat even go out?"

While the boat's driver on water, 51-year-old Kenneth McKee, survived; its driver on land, 73-year-old Bob Williams, did not.

The passengers who died came from four states.

Others killed included William Bright, 65, and his wife, Janice, 63. She suffered a concussion, but her father, 53-year-old retired math teacher Steve Smith, and her 15-year-old brother, Lance, died. One, Leslie Dennison, 64, was from IL. Eventually, the boats pull up to the lake and slowly enter the water with a small splash.

The Coleman family then made the snap decision to get new tickets and board the doomed duck boat that would later sink into the depths of the man-made Ozarks lake, reports the NY Post. "If you watch that video, that water is definitely being slammed up into that exhaust without a doubt", Paul said. "He didnt have a chance".

"When she reached the surface, battered by waves, she said people on a showboat nearby were jumping into the water saving people".

"Hes trying to hang in there", she said of her husband.

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