Published: Mon, July 23, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Coast Guard to raise duck boat that sank in storm killing 17

Coast Guard to raise duck boat that sank in storm killing 17

The boat company, Ride the Ducks, is coordinating the recovery and the Coast Guard is overseeing the operation.

Coleman and 30 others rode the duck boat Thursday night when a severe thunderstorm swept through Table Rock Lake, tossing the boat around in almost hurricane force winds and six foot swells.

Once the boat has been brought to the surface it will be towed back to shore an taken to a secure facility for further inspection and investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. She described her love for each of them and described how tough her new journey would be.

"Why they didn't have their life preservers on when they first went out?" said Lana Cardwell, who lives in Branson.

If they don't make it. There were 31 people on board.

"I don't know if there's a recovery from it", she said. The boat went down Thursday night in the Branson area after a thunderstorm generated near-hurricane strength winds.

Herschend Family Entertainment, located in Peachtree City owns the duck boat rides at Stone Mountain and previously owned the rides in Branson until last December. "I lost all my children", she said.

Nine of the people who died were part of one IN family. "That canopy becomes what I'll call a people catcher, and people can't get out from under that canopy".

About a half hour before that duck boat launched, the NWS issued a severe thunderstorm warning. She said she saw them taking group photos in her queue to board a second tour craft.

"My head pushed up to the top of the water and I lost control, I didn't have anybody with me", Coleman said.

Divers are expected to swim down and connect the duck boat to a crane, which will then try to lift the boat from where it rests beneath 80 feet of water, according to a Coast Guard official. Dark clouds, whipping winds and heavy rains had abruptly turned a routine tour into a disaster for 29 passengers and two crew members.

"Pastor Bob was a prince of a man, loving, kind, and generous, whose loss to our family is incalculable", said Williams' son-in-law, Bishop Jeffery Williams, who now leads King's Cathedral in Providence.

"I'm sure eventually it will be subpoenaed", he said.

"The bottom line is, why are these boats still being used?"

"If it wasnt for them people, we wouldnt have a town", said Stephen Lyons, who is in construction and often works on vacation homes in Branson.

The widow has since claimed that the captain of the boat told passengers they would not need life jackets.

A surviving relative told U.S. media that the boat's captain had told the 31 passengers not to put on life jackets.

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.

State and federal investigators were trying to determine what sent the vessel, originally built for military use in World War II, to its demise.

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