Missouri duck boat survivor says captain told passengers 'not to worry about life jackets'

A survivor of the Missouri tourist boat accident who lost nine relatives in the tragedy has claimed the captain told passengers not to bother grabbing life jackets.

Tia Coleman said she and a nephew were the only survivors of their 11-strong family group who were aboard the ‘duck boat’.

Seventeen people died when the pleasure cruise went down, with divers finding the final four bodies on Friday in Table Rock Lake, near Branson.

Ms Coleman told an Indianapolis television station that she lost all of her children in the accident, which is the deadliest of its kind in nearly two decades.

Tributes – people have paid tribute to the 17 people who lost their lives in the accident (Picture: AP)

She said: “The captain told us ‘Don’t worry about grabbing the life jackets, you won’t need them,’ so nobody grabbed them because we listened to the captain and he told us to stay seated.

“However in doing that, when it was time to grab them it was too late. I believe that a lot of people could have been spared.”

Grieving – a whole community is grieving after the death of 17 people in the boat accident in Missouri – including nine from one family (Picture: AP)

MORE: Hero Brits on summer road trip praised for saving five children from drowning
MORE: Sir David Attenborough wants us to ‘forget Brexit’ and count butterflies

Memorials have been held in Missouri, with 300 people gathered in the car park of Ride the Ducks of Branson.

Investigators have suggested that the accident was caused by thunderstorms and high winds, leading to questions as to why the amphibious vehicle was even on the water.