Officials release names of those killed in boat accident

Duck boat problems

Nine members of one family were among 17 people killed when a U.S. tourist boat capsized during a sudden storm on a Missouri lake, relatives told USA media on Friday, with accusations they were told there'd be no need for life jackets.

Two other family members who were aboard the duck boat that capsized survived, including Tia Coleman, who spoke to Fox59.

The accident occurred Thursday night in full view of witnesses, at least one of whom captured video of the vessel bobbing in rough waters on Table Rock Lake near the city of Branson, a vacation destination popular for its theatres and country music. "We're very resilient." Severe evening thunderstorms, including winds in excess of 60 miles per hour, struck the area at the time of the deadly crash. The boat's driver was among those killed.

They ranged in age from one-year-old Arya Coleman to the oldest victim Ervin Coleman, 76.

National Transportation Safety Board investigators are expected to arrive Friday to help determine the cause of the tragedy.

An email seeking comment from a spokeswoman for Ripley Entertainment, which owns the Ride the Ducks boat, was not immediately returned. Keith Holloway, with NTSB, said their priority is to get the boat out of the lake to investigate the human, mechanical and environmental components of the incident.

"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", Coleman said. He's dismayed by what happened in Branson and couldn't sleep after hearing about the incident.

The accident was the deadliest known duck boat accident in US history.

The boats were first designed for the United States military to transport troops and supplies during World War II. The boats were returning to shore when the incident happened, he said. Two adults were in critical condition, and the others were treated for minor injuries, Brandei Clifton said. Five years later, a woman was struck and killed by a duck boat while crossing a Philadelphia street. Of the 31 passengers on board, 14 survived.

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May 1, 1999: A duck boat sank on Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas, killing 13 people.

Cards and flowers are seen on the vehicle of a victim of the Ride The Ducks Accident at Ride The Ducks Tours on July 20, 2018 in Branson, Missouri.

"When we first went into the water, it was calm", he recalled.

Later, people on Malaske's boat saw a duck boat passenger "hanging on for dear life" to the paddle wheel of the Belle, he said.

In video captured by onlookers from the lake, two duck boats can be seen churning up and down through choppy waves, with water spraying in every direction.

Few of those in attendance knew the people who died, many of whom were tourists, but the sentiment was the same: The Branson, Missouri, community needed to show support.

The Thursday night accident was one of the deadliest USA tourist incidents in recent years. The NTSB found that the tugboat operator was distracted by communicating with family members on his cellphone and laptop computer. "They're not fit for water or land because they are half vehicle and half boat".

The trial attorney involved in that case said there's no reason why regulators haven't addressed a lethal design problem with these boats.

President Donald Trump offered condolences via Twitter.

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