March 21 (UPI) -- The company operating a vessel that sank last year on a lake near Branson, Mo., killing 17, said it won't reopen its "duck boat" business this tourist season.
In a post on its Facebook page Thursday, Ride the Ducks Branson said it would instead run a new business on the same site geared toward tourists, called Branson Top Ops.
Ten percent of proceeds from the new business, featuring activities such as laser tag and an outdoor maze, will be donated to first responders, specifically those in the Branson area, the Facebook post said.
"Branson Ride The Ducks has been an important part of the Branson community for 47 years," the post said. "We are deeply appreciative of the support we have received."
Last July, 17 people, including 9 from one family, died when the amphibious vessel they were riding on during a tour of the Ozarks sank amid rough waters on Table Rock Lake. Another seven people were hospitalized.
Earlier this month, relatives of two brothers who died in the accident indicated they reached a settlement with Ripley Entertainment, the company operating Ride the Ducks Branson.
In November, a federal grand jury indicted the boat's captain, Kenneth Scott McKee, on negligence charges related to the accident.
Prosecutors accuse McKee of failing to undertake a variety of safety protocols, saying he neglected to observe severe weather in the area and tell his passengers to wear flotation devices.