Ride the Ducks do trial run preparing for return

Ride the Ducks tours will resume Thursday with heightened safety precautions.

On a trial run Wednesday, duck boat No. 51 went into the river at the same spot the boat involved in last year’s fatal accident entered the water, but this ride was considerably shorter. A tow boat was at the ready and a spotter equipped with binoculars stood at a nearby pier.

“The tour was a safe tour before. We’ve done over 30 years and millions of passengers and hundreds of thousands of trips with not even a wet shoelace,” said Chris Hershend, president of Ride the Ducks. “So, what we did after the accident, we stopped and made sure we were safe and tweaked where we felt it was right to do that.”

The franchise employs 50 workers. James Cuorato, head of the Independence Visitors Center, said he’s confident the duck boats will be good for Philadelphia.

“It’s proven to be a very, very popular attraction, especially for families,” said Cuorato.

The families of two tourists killed in last year’s accident are suing the city and Ride the Ducks.

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