After The Ride the Ducks boat capsized on Table Rock Lake in Branson, Missouri, on Thursday at 7pm, survivors reveal they were trapped inside the sinking duckboat, and being ‘sucked’ under as they tried to swim away
The National Weather Service issued a severe storm warning at 6.30pm on Thursday, 30 minutes earlier
Nine members of Coleman family of Indianapolis among 17 killed in duck-boat tragedy – two members of the same family survived the tragic accident
Boat driver Robert ‘Bob’ Williams, 66, was one of the 17 people who died on the Ride the Ducks boat
Nine of the people who died were from the same family from Indianapolis but they have not yet been named
Couple Bill Asher and Rose Hamman were among those killed
Hero grandmother Leslie Dennison died saving the life of her 12-year-old granddaughter, who says the woman died saving her life
The boat was carrying 31 people when aggressive storms rolled over the area and thrashed the water
Eleven people were pulled dead from the water on Friday night and seven were taken to the hospital
On Friday morning, another six bodies were pulled from the water including three belonging to children
Passengers on other boats on the water filmed shocking footage of the boat being smashed by huge, powerful waves
One of the family members who survived the incident, Tia Coleman, told Fox 59 it was just her and her nephew who survived – and all of her children had died.
Tia claimed passengers on the boat were told: ‘don’t worry about grabbing life jackets – you won’t need them’ – a phrase she believes cost a lot more lives than would have been lost otherwise.
‘When it was time to grab them, it was too late,’ she said. ‘A lot of people could have been spared.’
‘My heart is very heavy,’ she said. ‘I lost all my children, my brother-in-law.’
Family patriarch, ‘Butch’ Coleman was remembered on social media as a ‘community legend’, who spent more than 40 years volunteering in his community.
The family were close to, but were not members of Zion Tabernacle Apostolic Church.
Eye witness video recording of the disaster
Rose Hamman [left], and Bill Asher [right] and were also killed. The couple were on their last night of vacation when they boarded the boat
Bill and Rose had been on a week-long holiday in Branson, and had spent their last evening away on the duck boat, friend Mary Ogborn Kientzy said.
Family confirmed the death of grandmother Leslie Dennison, who had been on the boat with her 12-year-old granddaughter Alicia, via Facebook.
Her son Todd told the Kansas City Star on Thursday his daughter, who is recovering in hospital, said she could feel Leslie pushing her up as the boat filled with water.
‘She said her grandmother saved her,’ he told the paper. Leslie is being mourned as a ‘true hero’.
Another five people were killed in the tragic accident, including [photo, left], Robert ‘Bob’ Williams, 66, who was driving the boat when it went down in Table Rock Lake in Branson.
Williams worked for Ride the Ducks, the boat tour company which owned the vessel. Friends and family paid tribute to him on Friday as a God-fearing family man.
Williams was the first to be named, followed by Rose and Bill, with the others – who range in age from one to 70 – are yet to be identified.
There were 31 people on the boat – 29 passengers and two crew – when it was overpowered by waves that were triggered from a sudden thunderstorm.
Leslie Dennison [second left] died saving her 12-year-old granddaughter Alicia. She is being mourned as a hero
Her ex-husband had told her those on the boat were trapped under the boat’s canopy as the boat began to sink. After some time, one of the operators of the boat was able to open the canopy, allowing terrified passengers being sucked into the lake to swim to freedom.
The man told Keller the boat was sucking people downwards as they tried to swim to the surface.
On Friday, Jim Pattison Jr., the president of Ripley Entertainment which owns the boat, said it should never been on the water in those conditions.
‘I don’t have all the details, but to answer your question, no, it shouldn’t have been in the water if, if what happened, happened.
‘This business has been operating for 47 years and we’ve never had an incident like this or anything close to it.
‘To the best of our knowledge – and we don’t have a lot of information now – but it was a fast-moving storm that came out of basically nowhere is sort of the verbal analysis I’ve got,’ he told CBS news.
He added that ‘no one’ was expecting such severe weather and said the boat’s captain, who survived, had 16 years of experience.
‘Usually the lake is very placid and it’s not a long tour, they go in and kind of around an island and back. We had other boats in the water earlier and it had been a great, sort of calm experience,’ Pattison said.
He added that the captain of that particular boat had 16 years of experience with the company, Ride the Ducks.
‘You know, they have a very good record. So, again, this seems to be sort of almost a micro storm effect of something that no one was expecting to happen the way that it did,’ Pattison said.
Authorities are now trying to contact all of the victims’ families.
There were life jackets on the boat but it is not clear if they were accessed before the vessel went down.
A severe thunderstorm that rolled over the area, causing winds of up to 60 mph, is believed to have caused the tragic accident