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Company Won't Operate Duck Boats in 2019 after Fatal Sinking

The company that owns a duck boat that sank on a Missouri lake last summer, killing 17 people, announced Thursday that it won't operate the vessels this year because of the ongoing investigation and will instead open a replacement attraction in the tourist town of Branson.

Ripley Entertainment Inc. spokeswoman Suzanne Smagala-Potts declined to comment on whether the boats would ever float again on Table Rock Lake, saying that the company is focused on 2019 and hasn't "looked in the future of what we may or may not do."

The new attraction, called Branson Top Ops, will include indoor laser tag, an interactive outdoor maze with barriers, and a tower. She said work would begin soon and that the venue is expected to open for Memorial Day weekend. She said 10 percent of this year's proceeds, with a minimum amount of $100,000, will be donated to local first responders, such as police and firefighters.

To read more on this story, visit our partners at the Columbia Missourian.