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Inspector said he warned duck boat company about problem

Inspector said he warned duck boat company about problem

Passengers aboard an amphibious tour boat that sank in Missouri last week were told they didn't need to wear life jackets, a survivor said.

The National Weather Service said thunderstorms brought winds of 50 to 65 miles per hour to the Branson area Thursday evening.

"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.

Missouri State Highway Patrol chaplain Steve Martin said the family's survival was "remarkable" and that there is no explanation for it.

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. Thirteen of the 21 passengers on board died, including three children. "I don't know if there's a recovery from it", she said. Tia is standing next to her 76-year-old uncle, who is by her husband Glenn, their 13-year-old nephew Donovan Hall and 9-year-old cousin Reece.

Her husband, her three children and five other members of her family died in the accident.

Paul said the duck boats he inspected - which the company had just purchased or repaired - vented exhaust from the motor out front and below the water line.

The boat will be taken to a secure location for officials to study it after the deadly incident, the Coast Guard said in an earlier news release.

About 300 people attended a Sunday afternoon service at Williams Memorial Chapel at College of the Ozarks, where a bell chimed 17 times for the victims.

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"I couldn't hear screams", Coleman said to People.

"Hearts were broken", Branson Mayor Karen Best said. Investigators have recovered the recording device from the boat, which they hope contains information that will provide more insight into the accident. It is now on its way to the lab in Washington D.C.

In central Wisconsin, Original Wisconsin Ducks in the Dells has no plans to change how it operates after 73 years of safe rides, general manager Dan Gavinski said.

"We think it will show what the actions were of the captain, what he tried to do to maneuver the vessel, as well as any instructions he might have given to the passengers", NTSB board member Earl Weener told ABC News. Orange life jackets could be seen dangling from the canopy of the boat and a soggy American flag was posted near where the driver Saturday. The canopies on top of the vessels make it almost impossible to escape if they are tipped over.

The company has made few comments since the accident, except to say that employees are assisting authorities and that the accident was the company's first in more than 40 years in Branson.

Turbulent weather has caused trouble for duck boats before. "Thank you for your support, and we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this time".

At a news conference Monday in Branson, Coast Guard Capt. Scott Stoermer said the investigation will also look into whether the boat captain followed company guidelines regarding use of life jackets.

The NTSB, which makes non-binding safety recommendations, has urged the removal of canopies from the vehicles to reduce the risk of drowning.

Multiple agencies are now investigating the Branson duck boat disaster.


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