Duck Boat survivor speaks, says the captain said life-jackets weren’t needed

"It was definitely life changing, life altering event."

Tia Coleman's words are on the mark after 17 people, including children, died after a duck boat capsized in Table Rock Lake near Brandon, Missouri during a severe thunderstorm.

31 people were on board the "Ride the Ducks Branson" boat when the deadly storm crept up on them.

Of the 17 people who died, nine came from one family... Coleman's.

"I was there, with my husband and our three children. who were 9, 7, and 1. My in-laws were there, my mother in law and my father in law and then uncle that lives with them."

Coleman describes chaotic scene when the captain had to take over. "Once he takes over, there's big huge waves choppy, everybody started getting like hey, this is a little bit too much. And then it got really choppy and big swells of water started coming into the boat, then a really huge wave swept over and when that wave swept over, the last thing I heard my sister-in-law yell was grab the baby."

That's when the boat started sinking. Coleman says life-jackets were on board, but shockingly no one reached for one.

"They told us they're up here, this is where they are, they showed us where they were. But they said don't worry about it, you won't need it. We said ok. So when the captain took over, I thought that at some point, he would say grab the jackets now. But we were told to stay seated, and everybody stayed seated. When that boat is found, all those life jackets are going to be on there, because nobody pulled one off."

Struggling to stay afloat, Coleman eventually made it to the rescue boat and was taken to a local hospital where she continues to recover.

The accident wasn't the first time a duck boat tour turned fatal. At least 39 people have died in duck boat accidents in the past 20 years.

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