Yellow Duckmarine goes under

All 33 passengers and crew aboard a Liverpool Yellow Duckmarine amphibious tour bus that sunk in Liverpool’s Salthouse Dock made their way to safety. Three adults, who were not able to make their own way out of the water, had to be rescued by firefighters. All those on board were taken to hospital for precautionary checks and have all been released. The vessel, dubbed Quacker 1, was a converted DUKW, originally deployed during the D-Day landings to transport troops. It was being used to offer tours around the city and the docks. Firefighters from Croxteth Community Fire Station were sent to the scene. Watch Manager at Liverpool City Community Fire Station, Dave Thomas, said, ‘Before we arrived, narrow boats, which had been moored in that area of the dock system, had gone to the aid of people in the water and started to help people onboard their vessels. Other people who had been onboard the vessel had also swum to safety. The three people in the water were close to exhaustion. Initially, when we arrived, the vessel was completely submerged but the stern of it rose up during the time we were on scene.’

A spokesperson for Yellow Duck Marine said, ‘Following the incident involving Quacker 1, we are working closely with our regulatory body, The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Merseyside Police. The craft involved in the incident holds a valid passenger carrying certificate. The craft has now been recovered and following consultation with MCA it has been taken to a place of safe and secure storage in-order-that a full investigation can take place. Our team followed their emergency response procedure, ensuring the safe disembarkation of passengers on board. We were aided in this regard by a number of canal boat owners berthed in Salthouse Dock to whom we would like to express our thanks. We would also like to express our thanks to the emergency services and the Albert Dock Security team onsite for their immediate and exemplary response. Yellow Duckmarine works closely at all times with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), the marine industry’s independent regulatory body, to ensure it complies with all of its health and safety and regulatory obligations. The MCA has confirmed that Yellow Duck’s active fleet meets all required safety standards.’

A company running tours in London using similar vehicles, London Duck Tours Ltd, is unrelated to the Liverpool operation. In a statement, it claimed its vessels ‘are totally different in engineering terms’. The statement said, ‘Other operators within the UK have regretfully attempted to copy our very successful product by utilising original 70 year old vehicles, which do not operate to our level of safety standards. They have also attempted to mirror the appearance of our fleet.’ 

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