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Duck Boat Survivor Describes Pain Of Losing Entire Family In The Tragedy

The horrifying last words of one of the victims of the Branson, Missouri duck boat tragedy on Friday have been heard, and they are heart-wrenching.

Right before the Ride the Ducks boat capsized due to a severe thunderstorm and 60 mph winds with 31 people aboard, passengers and crew did whatever they could to save the lives of the children that were on board the doomed ship.

The tragedy claimed the lives of 17 people, including the hardest hit, the Coleman family from Indianapolis, who lost nine members in the tragedy with only two surviving.

Tia Coleman, who lost her husband and three children aged one to nine, spoke to her aunt from her hospital bed and told her what happened. Coleman’s aunt, Carolyn Coleman, spoke to MSN and relayed what Tia said.

“I asked her what was their last words … She said all she could hear and say was, ‘Grab the babies!’ And that was it. They got one group of waves and then they got a second one, and that’s when the boat started to sink,” Carolyn said.

The boat was not supposed to go on the water until 60 minutes into the tour, but the captain thought it would be a good idea to start the tour with the water part due to the warnings of the impending storm. It was a tragic decision.

“There was a warning…the warning people said take them out to the water first, before the storm hit,” Tia, 39, told KOLR from her hospital bed.

“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 told Reuters.

“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…” she said.

“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,” she said.

“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,’” Tia said.

The National Weather Service had issued a severe weather warning at 6:30 p.m., around 30 minutes before the boat sunk.

“I lost all my children, I lost my husband, I lost my mother in law, I lost my father in law, I lost my uncle, I lost my sister in law – she was my sister – and I lost my nephew, I’m ok, but this is really hard,” Tia told Fox 59.

“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,” she said. “However in doing that, when it was time to grab them it was too late. I believe that a lot of people could have been spared.”

Jim Pattison Jr, president of Ripley Entertainment, the company that owns the ship, explained the decision.

“Usually the lake is very placid and it’s not a long tour, they go in and kind of around an island and back,” he said. “We had other boats in the water earlier [on Thursday] and it had been a great, sort of calm experience.”

The boat, named the Stretch Duck 07, was built during World War II in 1944.


Update: On the Ground at Occupy City Hall Philadelphia, One Week In

Carmine Sabia

Carmine began writing for BizPacReview in 2014 where he found success as a conservative writer. His popularity continued to soar as he gained tens of thousands of followers. ​Carmine has been quoted by Fox News, has been interviewed on television by Tomi Lahren, appeared on BBC Radio, "The Critical Hour" with Dr. Wilmer Leon, Sky News in the UK, NHK in Japan, Power 98.7 South Africa and various other media outlets.

0 Comment

  1. Marie Martin July 22, 2018

    God bless this child

  2. Gail Dupre July 22, 2018

    So very sad. ?for her.

  3. Cindy Schander July 22, 2018

    I couldn’t imagine how to go on.

  4. Michele Calabrese July 22, 2018

    This is so incredibly sad! That poor woman! I can’t imagine how hard it is going to be for her to recover from such a devastating loss.

  5. Toni Miller July 22, 2018

    God bless her

  6. JoAnn Connor July 22, 2018

    Unimaginable! I can’t believe everyone on that boat weren’t required to wear life jackets!!!

  7. Herman W. Faceson July 22, 2018

    God bless!

  8. Raymond Willis July 22, 2018

    Nigga should know better! Water is not our friend! Shoulda kept on land chasing ducks!

  9. Gen Tate-Jewett July 22, 2018

    Prayers for her…❤

  10. Sharon Ruebhausen July 22, 2018

    So sad

  11. Nola Gorrell July 22, 2018

    More loss than a person can tolerate..God please help her

  12. Deb Goodall Martin July 22, 2018

    Just heart breaking to hear her talk . Those boats should not been on the lake that day .

  13. Roni Howard July 22, 2018

    Praying for you

  14. Barbara Dean July 22, 2018

    So sad praying for you

  15. Bertha Gallego July 22, 2018

    May God comfort her and bless her❤️

  16. Brenda Galvin July 22, 2018

    Someone with lots of money,please stepup and bless this Woman.

  17. Lisa Chilelli-Rogers July 22, 2018

    I can’t imagine, I am not sure I could go on, my 3 kids are my life

  18. Linda McWilliams July 23, 2018

    Such a tragedy, I hope the survivor will recover and heal over her loss.

  19. Deborah Willis July 23, 2018


  20. Helen Hines July 25, 2018

    May God give her strength in Jesus name AMEN.

  21. Shirley Hawkins July 25, 2018

    God be with you in Jesus Christ name amen

  22. Debbie Candis July 25, 2018


  23. Keep It Whole July 25, 2018

    If you can’t swim and go out on a boat in choppy water, INSIST on wearing a life jacket, don’t ever… https://t.co/OUjhOFLmSo

  24. Toni Miller July 25, 2018

    OMG very heartbreaking.

  25. Shirley Andrews July 25, 2018

    Prayers of comfort to you God bless you !so sorry for your loss !

  26. Roni Howard July 25, 2018

    Praying for you

  27. Karen Dillman Thompson July 25, 2018

    Prayers for her strength


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