A Christian woman who lost nine family members, including her husband and three children, in a boating accident in Branson, Missouri USA, last Thursday said she begged God to help her save her kids and even asked Him to let her die when she became overwhelmed during the ordeal.
The woman, Tia Coleman, was one of 31 people touring Table Rock Lake on a Ride the Ducks Branson amphibious vessel when the craft was overwhelmed by water whipped up by a fast-moving thunderstorm and sank, according to CNN.
17 people, including Tia Coleman’s family members, did not make it out alive.
Coleman told KOLR10:
“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. And I was yelling, screaming, and finally, I said Lord, just let me die, let me die, I can’t keep drowning, I just can’t keep drowning. And then I just let go.”
Coleman, who is from Indiana, told KOLR10 that she and her family who frequently vacation together were supposed to be on an earlier tour. When they got to Branson, however, they went to the wrong duck boat business, forcing her to switch out her ticket for the 6:30 p.m. ride last Thursday.
Less than an hour after their tour began, tragedy struck on the duck boat tour, which usually involves a trip spanning both land and water. Coleman said she was told the tour would go on the water first because of an incoming storm.
Once they got on the Lake, however, the storm whipped the water, creating huge waves.
“Everybody started getting like hey, this is getting a little bit too much and then it got really choppy and big swells of water started coming in to the boat, then a really huge wave swept over and when that wave swept over, the last thing I heard my sister-in-law say was ‘grab the baby,” said Coleman.
Once her head got above water, however, Coleman could see no one.
“I lost control, I didn’t have anybody with me,” she said. “I couldn’t see anybody. And I know it wasn’t but I felt like I struggled for at least an hour, but it was probably like 10 minutes. And I just
At a press conference Saturday at Cox Medical Centre Branson, where Coleman has been hospitalised since the tragedy, she explained how she was trying to protect her son when the nightmare began.
“I had my son right next to me. But when the water filled up the boat, I could no longer see. I couldn’t feel anybody, I couldn’t see, I just remember, ‘I gotta get out, I gotta get out.'”
Once she ended up underwater, Coleman, who is a lifelong Apostolic Christian, explained how she started praying.
“And as I was swimming up, I was praying,” she recounted. “I said, ‘Lord please, let me get to my babies, I gotta get to my babies, I gotta get to my babies.”
When she next saw her babies it was too late. Her three children — Reece Coleman, 9, Evan Coleman, 7, and Arya Coleman, 1 — all died along with her husband, Glenn Coleman, 40.
The mother and her 13-year-old nephew were the only ones to survive from her family. The others who died were her sister-in-law, Angela Coleman, 45, and Angela’s younger son, Maxwell Coleman, 2. Belinda Coleman, 69, Ervin Coleman, 76, and Horace Coleman, 70, also perished when the boat sank.
The tragedy has attracted many reactions from well-wishers, including President Donald Trump.
My deepest sympathies to the families and friends of those involved in the terrible boat accident which just took place in Missouri. Such a tragedy, such a great loss. May God be with you all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 20 July 2018
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