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Memorial service planned Missouri boating accident victims

23 July 2018

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

Williams' wife said he was actually planning to take over her job, telling Best with a smile "my husband was going to run for mayor when you were finished".

"I don't know how I'm going to do it", she said. "I couldn't hear anything. It felt like I was out there on my own", she said while tearing up.

"I don't know if there's a recovery from it", she said. "And I was yelling, screaming and finally, I said, 'Lord, just let me die, let me die, I can't keep drowning, I just can't keep drowning.' And then I just let go". Her husband and three children, including a 1-year-old, all died. "My in-laws were there, my mother-in-law and my father-in-law and the uncle that lives with them".

Coleman said the captain took over the boat, and the big swells of water started coming over. Only one other relative besides her survived the accident.

"They could have at least floated up to the top and someone could have grabbed them", she said, starting to cry.

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

Representatives from the CoxHealth Branson hospital and local Stone County Sheriff's Office did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday. "As I was swimming up I was praying, 'Lord, please let me get to my babies, I've got to get to my babies". "Keep me, Lord. I kept swimming, I was swimming as fast as I could".

In their initial assessment, authorities blamed severe thunderstorms and winds that approached hurricane strength.

Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she remembers the family waiting in line. 'Seven patients [are in] the hospital and we do have some people still missing. Two are in a critical condition.

"He loves Branson", she said, adding he was one of the "great, great men in our community" who would be sorely missed. "These boats were not designed for recreational use, especially with large numbers of people and weather like this". The first emergency calls over the accident occurred just after 7 p.m.

"That's a huge issue that ought to be dealt with and dealt with here", Baker said.

Weener said the owner of Ride the Ducks Branson, Ripley Entertainment, has been cooperating fully with the investigation.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the 31 people aboard the Missouri tourist boat that sank weren't wearing life jackets.

"Usually the lake is very placid, and it's not a long tour", Pattison said. I don't know who they were. "He was at every event".

Among the people killed Thursday included a Missouri couple who had just celebrated a birthday; another Missouri couple on what was planned as their last extended vacation; an IL woman who died while saving her granddaughter's life; an Arkansas father and son; and a retired pastor who was the boat's operator.

A memorial service for those who died on the duck boat was held Sunday at the College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri.

Safety experts are raising concerns about duck boats after one of these amphibious vessels sank in Branson, Mo., leaving 17 people dead.

The NTSB and divers worked to recover the duck boat. "And when they pulled me up from the boat, I didn't see any of my family".

Safety advocates have sought improvements and complained that too many agencies regulate the boats with varying safety requirements.

The area around Branson was placed under a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET), about half an hour before the boat went under the water. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn't regulate duck boats because they're amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn't in this case because it's a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one.

Memorial service planned Missouri boating accident victims