'Keep us in prayer. We're going to need it"; Survivor of boat accident near Branson talks about what happened

By  | 

BRANSON, Mo. A woman who survived A Ride the Ducks boat sinking on Table Rock Lake Thursday night is still in the hospital.

Tia Coleman lost 9 family members in the tragedy, including her husband and three young children. Her pastor and some extended family made the trip from Indiana to be with her in Branson.

"When that water came over the boat I didn't know what happened. Water filled up the boat. I could no longer see. I couldn't feel anybody. I couldn't see. I just remember, I got to get out. I got to get out," said Coleman.

She said, at first, nothing seemed to be wrong. However, that quickly changed.

"The water was splashing it was so hot. We thought this is great. You know, the water's splashing. But when a big swell came that's when I got nervous. Then the next big swell is what, I didn't know the boat capsized I thought it went under. When that next big swell came in I did go under," she said.

Thirty-one people fell into the waters of Table Rock Lake after the boat sank.

"As I was swimming up I was praying. I said Lord please let me get to my babies. I've got to get to my babies. I got to get to my babies. I was kicking. The harder I fought to get up to the top, I was getting pulled down," she said.

Coleman finally managed to make it to the surface.

"Oh my God they were jumping in, saving people. They were throwing life rafts to everybody but I couldn't reach it. I couldn't get there in time. Somehow I managed to get to the boat. These beautiful people, angels, I don't know who they were, they pulled me up. When they pulled me up to the boat I didn't see any of my family," she explained.

Coleman also lost her father-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, nephew and uncle.

"It was said that we, that there are life jackets but don't worry you won't need them. We were never told after that to grab them. If I was able to get a life jacket I could have saved my babies because they could have at least floated up to the top and somebody could have grabbed them. I wasn't able to do that," she said.

Her life will never be the same.

"Based on what me and my family went through I never want to be on any boat again in my life," said Coleman.

Coleman is expected to make a full recovery.