Duck Boat Accident Survivor Shares Her Story After Losing 9 Family Members

Friday, July 20th 2018, 10:10 pm
By: Ashley Izbicki

Tia Coleman was with 10 members of her family on the Duck boat which capsized and sank near Branson, Missouri.  Nine members of her family died in the water during the storm.

The Coleman family was visiting Branson from Indianapolis and the Missouri governor's office says that family accounts for more than half the people who lost their lives last night. From her hospital bed, Tia Coleman recounted what it was like the moment she went in the water.

"I couldn't see anybody, I couldn't hear anything, I couldn't hear screams I just it just felt like I was out there on my own. And I was yelling I was screaming. Finally, I said 'Lord just let me die. Just let me die.' I said I can't keep drowning, I just can't keep drowning, and that's how I felt," said Tia.

Tia says she "just let go" and started floating to the surface where she saw people on the nearby Showboat Branson Belle throwing life jackets to people in the water.

"And I said 'Jesus please keep me, just keep me so I can get to my children. Keep me, Lord," said Tia

But her children were gone. Tia and her nephew are the only members of the family who survived. The boat was equipped with life jackets, but in an interview with CBS 4 in Indianapolis, Tia says the captain told them not to worry about grabbing them because they wouldn't need them.

But by the time they really did need them, it was too late. The investigation has been turned over to the National Transportation Safety Board and the Coast Guard. The Army Corps of Engineers says the boat, which is 80 feet underwater, will be recovered on Monday.