Survivor recounts boat accident that killed 9 family members


11 members of an Indianapolis-area family were on board the Ride the Ducks boat when it capsized on a Branson lake Thursday night after a strong storm.

The sinking of the boat killed 17 people on board.

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. She described her love for each of them and described how tough her new journey would be. The captain survived, authorities said. "Help me get to my babies", adding, "Lord, if I can't make it, there's no use keeping me here". A treacherous squall sank the boat.

"The only thing that I would like to be done but can't, is to bring my family back", Coleman said. "And you don't want to be out in the water particularly with people who can't swim or children in conditions like this", she said.

On Thursday, the area around Branson was placed under a severe thunderstorm warning shortly after 6:30 p.m. local, about half an hour before the boat sank.

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

"I thought I was dead", she said, recounting the moment she was sucked under. Only two family members survived after the amphibious vehicle capsized in a sudden squall, an accident in which a total of 17 people who had been on board died.

"These handsome people, angels - I don't know who they were, they pulled me up".

When asked by reporters on Saturday what it'll be like to return home to Indianapolis, Coleman said she knows it will be "completely, completely hard".

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"I said, 'Lord, please, let me get to my babies, " she told reporters from her wheelchair Saturday in the lobby of a hospital, where she's recovering after swallowing lake water.

Ripley Entertainment, which purchased the Branson Ride the Duck boats previous year says if there were storm warning, the boat should not have been on the water. Dark clouds, whipping winds and heavy rains had abruptly turned a routine tour into a disaster for 29 passengers and two crew members. Her nephew also survived.

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

Coleman said the captain took over the boat, and the big swells of water started coming over. "They're not fit for water or land because they are half auto and half boat". She thanked people she dubbed "angels" who jumped into the water and helped pull her to safety.

Survivors have told the media that the boat captain told passengers there was no need to wear life jackets, even shortly before sinking when the winds and waves appeared risky.

Ms Coleman said the crew told passengers they were going into the water first, before the land-based part of their tour, because of the incoming storm.

Angela's two-year-old son Maxwell died in the tragic accident, as did Glenn's sons Evan, 7, and Reece, 9, and his one-year-old daughter Arya.

Branson Mayor Karen Best said Williams was a "great ambassador" for the city.