‘I thought I was dead’: Branson duck boat passenger who lost 9 family members shares survival story

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Tia Coleman of Indianapolis, Indiana, speaks to members of the press in Branson about the duck boat incident that killed nine of her relatives, including her husband and three children.
Nikki Boliaux, USA TodayTia Coleman, a survivor of the Ride the Ducks incident on Table Rock Lake on Thursday, July 19, 2018, speaks at a press conference at Cox Medical Center Branson on Saturday, July 21, 2018. Coleman lost 9 family member in the tragedy.(Photo: Andrew Jansen/News-Leader)BRANSON, Mo. — Tia Coleman has always loved the water.She and 10 members of her family made plenty of memories playing in the pool at their Branson hotel while on vacation from Indiana. But when they took a boat tour on Table Rock Lake Thursday and the water started pouring in, Coleman didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t see. Water was rushing in. Soon she couldn’t even feel her son who had been sitting next to her on the duck boat, an amphibious vessel that can travel on road and water. Coleman, who lost nine family members in the ship’s capsizing, shared her story of survival Saturday afternoon at a news conference at the hospital where she’s being treated. “I thought I was dead,” she said, recounting the moment she was sucked under. “I didn’t know how to get out.” Coleman, sitting in a wheelchair and flanked by loved ones, said she didn’t see a cloud in the sky when she boarded the Ride the Ducks boat with her family. Crew members told them a storm was heading toward the area but there didn’t appear to be any danger. More: Officials say it could be a year before answers arise in duck boat accident in Branson, MissouriMore: Here are the 17 victims of the Missouri duck boat tragedyTia Coleman, center, a survivor of the Ride the …


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