She and 10 of her relatives were on a family vacation from IN, taking a tour Thursday of Table Rock Lake near the Missouri tourist hotspot of Branson.
Both duck boats had overhead roofs or canopies that the National Transportation Safety Board warned could greatly increase the risk of passengers becoming trapped in the boat and drowning.
The US Coast Guard said on Sunday it will oversee the salvage operations for the amphibious vessel that was carrying 31 people when it went down on Thursday in a fierce and sudden storm on Table Rock Lake outside of the tourist destination of Branson.
A treacherous squall sank the boat, sending Coleman down into cold, deep water. Tia Coleman, one of only two members of that family aboard the boat to survive, said in a hospital bed interview with local media that the captain had told passengers there was no need to put on life jackets.
Three of Coleman's children and her husband were among the dead.
"I'm not going to rest until we get something in the law on a national basis that does a better job of regulating the safety of amphibious vehicles", she told CNN on Friday.
Stoermer with the Coast Guard said divers have photographed the boat extensively where it lay at the bottom of the lake in case the process of raising the boat created any new damage. The report also highlighted a faulty water pump, a lack of maintenance, and less than rigorous Coast Guard oversight.
The Ride the Ducks attraction in Branson is owned by Ripley Entertainment Inc., which purchased the company in December. It has been brought to NTSB labs in Washington, D.C., for analysis.
Video of the duck boat in Branson just before it sank shows it not only had a roof, but windows, which some companies have added to their vessels so they can heat the cabin and extend their hours, said Robert Mongeluzzi, a Philadelphia attorney who represented families of two victims killed when a barge plowed into a stalled duck boat in the Delaware River in 2010.
Image It will now be examined by investigators
But when they took a boat tour on Table Rock Lake Thursday and the water started pouring in, Coleman didn't know what to do.
Family of victims of the duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake leave after a community wide memorial service for the families, friends and victims at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Mo., on Sunday, July 22, 2018.
"The boats are not designed for the type of use that they are being employed for". She said somehow she was able to reach the boat.
"Contributing to the high loss of life was a continuous canopy roof that entrapped passengers within the sinking vehicle", the report continued.
Company President Jim Pattison Jr. said the boat captain had 16 years of experience, and the business monitors weather.
People in sunglasses, helmets and life jackets stood near the crane as, slowly, the vessel emerged.
The NTSB and multiple duck boat companies declined to comment on the safety issue.
There were life jackets on the boat, but passengers weren't required to wear them, according to Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader. "Thank you for your support, and we ask that your thoughts and prayers be with the families during this time".
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