Branson Showboat Returns After Running Aground

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 BRANSON, Mo. (AP) – The show begins again on a showboat that went aground in Branson last December, but it isn’t cruising Table Rock Lake yet.

The Showboat Branson Belle has been docked at the lake in southwest Missouri since it ran aground Dec. 11, leaving more than 600 passengers safe but stranded overnight. They were rescued the next day.

The curtain went up on the first show on the renovated showboat yesterday. A spokeswoman for the company that owns the showboat says the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to give final approval to resume dinner cruises soon, possibly by early next week.

Since the accident, the showboat has had nearly $400,000 in replacement parts. The company will now call off the lake cruises when sustained winds are 20 mph with 25 mph gusts.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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