A Branson resident who says she's ridden duck boats on Table Rock Lake about 10 times says she's never seen anyone wearing a life vest during the ride. She was alone when she came up for air.
An archived version of Ripley's website said it operates 20 duck boats in Branson and described them as "built from the ground up under United States Coast Guard (USCG) supervision with the latest in marine safety".
Coleman recalled spotting the rescue boat and managed to reach it, "somehow". "We have to live in this world; they have gone to the other side", said Thomas, 51, of Indianapolis, whose cousin, Tia Coleman, was one of two members of the family to survive the accident at Table Rock Lake near Branson.
Pattison said the duck boat had life jackets onboard but Missouri law doesn't require people to wear them.
The cause of the tragedy is yet to be confirmed, but an initial assessment has blamed a thunderstorm and winds that approached hurricane strength.
Questions are now being raised about why the boat made a decision to venture out in such severe weather conditions, claims that the passengers weren't told to put on life-jackets and whether duck boats should be in operation at all.
The boat sank 40 feet and then rolled to an area 80 feet deep, according to Rader.
The Coast Guard will oversee salvage operations, coordinated by Ride the Ducks, of the sunken duck boat Stretch Duck 7, Monday morning.
The company has not commented on Ms Coleman's account of the tour, which usually begins with a tour of downtown Branson, known for its country shows and entertainment, before the vessel enters the lake for a short ride on the water.
"He loves Branson", she said, adding he was one of the "great, great men in our community" who would be sorely missed. Dark clouds, whipping winds and heavy rains had abruptly turned a routine tour into a disaster for 29 passengers and two crew members. Fourteen people survived, including two adults who remained hospitalized Saturday.
The woman who says she lost nine members of her family has been named as Tia Coleman.
"I can only imagine what they were going through".
The National Weather Service had issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area Thursday, saying conditions were ripe for winds of 70 miles per hour (113 kph).
Tracy Beck, of Kansas City, Missouri, said she remembers the family waiting in line.
William and Janice Bright, aged 65 and 63, had been in Branson celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary on Thursday.
The NTSB and divers worked to recover the duck boat. "It's just heartbreaking", said friend Russ McKay, who talked to Hamann the day before the accident.
Critics say the boats are risky because they sit low in the water, are easily capsized and the canopy can trap people underneath when boats sink, according to a Philadelphia attorney who represented victims in a different duck boat incident. Spokesmen said the Department of Transportation doesn't regulate duck boats because they're amphibious, and the Department of Public Safety doesn't in this case because it's a commercial vessel, as opposed to a recreational one.