Duck boats exempt from Missouri life jacket law

Duck boats exempt from Missouri life jacket law

Duck boats exempt from Missouri life jacket law

She said he loved the water and they took the boat ride because it was something he'd enjoy.

An official with the National Transportation Safety Bureau told CNN that it could take up to a year to issue a final report on the tragedy in Branson.

"I look at my family here, and this could've been us", Ed Brown, who was at the vigil, told CNN affiliate KMIZ.

"Why they didn't have their life preservers on when they first went out?" said Lana Cardwell, who lives in Branson. "Help me get to my babies", adding, "Lord, if I can't make it, there's no use keeping me here". The report notes that the boat was overcome by strong winds in a thunderstorm, which caused the boat to be swamped with water before sinking.

"The only thing that I would like to be done but can't, is to bring my family back", Coleman said.

17 people total, five of them children, died in the accident.

The boat went down Thursday evening in Table Rock Lake on the edge of the tourist town of Branson after a thunderstorm generated near-hurricane strength winds.

Spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala has noted that Thursday's accident was the only one in more than 40 years of operation.

"As far as the tourists, I think it's kind of scared them", Cardwell said. Fourteen people survived, including two adults who remained hospitalized Saturday. Mourners lit candles around cars left on the parking lot overnight - believed to belong to the victims.

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"They were, oh my God, jumping in saving people, they were throwing life rafts to everybody", Coleman said.

"Going home - I already know is going to be completely hard I don't know how I'm going to do it", she said. The boat is submerged in 80 feet (24 meters) of water.

The boat was carrying 29 passengers and two crew members on a pleasure cruise, and everyone aboard had been accounted for by midday Friday.

Meteorologist Elisa Raffa of KOLR-TV in Springfield said in a phone interview Saturday that her station was forecasting the threat of severe weather all morning.

Carolyn Coleman said she and her husband are planning to make a trip to IN for the funeral after the bodies are released. The riders were reportedly told before they boarded that they didn't have to wear life jackets.

"My husband would want me to say this - he would want the world to know that on this boat we were on, the captain had told us "don't worry about grabbing the life jackets - you won't need them" so nobody grabbed them as we listened to the captain as he told us to stay seated", Coleman told Fox News. Also avoided was giving passengers instructions on what to do if the boat starts to sink.

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

Divers also recovered the recorder from the duck that sank. She said the park usually alerts staff when a storm is approaching. It explained why the boats' engines - and pumps that remove water from their hulls - might fail in inclement weather.

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