A survivor of the duck boat tragedy in Missouri last Thursday has tearfully recalled the moment she cried out to Jesus as the vessel sank.
Tia Coleman lost nine members of her family in the accident at Table Rock Lake in Branson on Thursday evening, including her husband and three children.
Speaking to KOLR from her hospital bed, she described the confusion of the final moments before the boat sank to the bottom.
'I couldn't see anybody, I couldn't hear anything - I couldn't hear screams - it felt like I was out there on my own,' she said.
'I was yelling, I was screaming and finally I said: "Lord, just let me die, let me die - I can't keep drowning, I just can't...
This is the Coleman family. Only two family members remain after the duck boat they were on capsized in Branson Missouri. pic.twitter.com/OjRQLhbGPE— Alexis McAdams (@AlexisMcAdamsTV) 20 July 2018
'Then I just let go, and I started floating, and I was floating to the top and I felt the water temperature raise to warm, and I jumped up and saw the big boat that sits out there. 'When I saw [the first responders helping survivors on the pier], they were throwing out life jackets to people. And I said: 'Jesus keep me, just keep me so I can get to my children'.
Absolutely terrible. This is a photo of the Coleman family before they got on the duck boat in Missouri. Only two of them survived.— Steve Lookner (@lookner) 21 July 2018
(from WTHR) pic.twitter.com/Daz6ZqNjta
Tragically, out of the 11 family members who boarded the boat, only Tia and her nephew survived.
Church deacon Steve Smith, 53, and his 15-year-old son Lance were also among the victims, according to the Daily Mail. They were accompanied by his daughter Loren at the time, who survived. Smith's wife had reportedly chosen to go shopping instead of join them on the boat ride.
In the aftermath of the accident, prayer vigils have been held in the parking lot of the duck boat company, where floral tributes have been left on the bonnets of cars still parked there that are believed to belong to the victims.
The Rev. Zachary Klein, speaking at one of the vigils, said 'there simply are no words to comfort them [the families],' reports WSBT22 News.
‘LORD, JUST LET ME DIE.”— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) 21 July 2018
Branson duck boat tragedy survivor Tia Coleman describes what she thought would be her final moments on earth.
She lost nine family members including her husband and children. #DuckBoatTragedy pic.twitter.com/ac804WR3QK
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