Nonprofit demands for Memphis Riverboats to make changes

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 8:17 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 8:40 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The CEO of the Dock Ellis Foundation said for Memphis Riverboats to carry up to 300 patrons and be off-land for two hours, there needs to be more sense of security.

That’s why the foundation is demanding more safety features after Tamia’s tragic incident.

“We have to try to make sure that this does not happen to somebody else,” said Jasmine Ellis, Dock Ellis Foundation.

Two weeks after Tamia Taylor’s disappearance, in Crittenden County, Arkansas deputies recovered the 21-year-old’s body in the Mississippi River near a Dreyfus grain facility barge.

It’s downriver from Memphis Riverboats dock where Taylor boarded a midnight booze cruise to celebrate her 21st birthday with three work friends.

The entire story has holes. There are questions that rightfully community have,” said Ellis.

They’re demanding changes after the Riverboat company claimed ‘there was no reason to believe she went overboard’ during the festivities the night of September 9th.

“We are demanding that cameras are put in the location on the boat, we need to be with --One, we’re dealing with the time where crime is high. You have over or up to 300 people on a boat just to make sure they are able to make it home that night, you definitely need cameras in place,” said Ellis.

Ellis told Action News 5 that basic safety and security measures on the Memphis Riverboats could have prevented an unimaginable tragedy.

Since Tamia’s disappearance, Memphis Riverboats suspended all its Midnight booze cruises indefinitely.

Ellis said it’s a small step in the right direction but not enough.

“There are more steps that need to be taken. And that could be something they’re addressing right now however, we just verbalize that one of those things that need to be done is they need to review the safety protocols that they have on that boat,” said Ellis.

The Dock Ellis Foundation said you can help push for change; the non-profit started a petition that you can sign here.

Click here to sign up for our newsletter!

Click here to report a spelling or grammar error. Please include the headline.