A converted for tourism wartime DUKW landing craft has sunk in Liverpools Albert Dock. Some thirty tourists including children were on board.
It since has been confirmed there are no fatalities, and only one person (from the 31 rescued) has since been detained in hospital according to ambulance sources.
There are said to be four craft belonging to the Yellow Duck Marine Company of Liverpool. The craft known as DUKW or Ducks were used during the wartime D-Day landings and for many years have been uses as tourist vehicles or inland net and line fishing craft. In recent years substantial modifications, many mandatory, have been made to the orginal design, for both safety and comfort reasons but in some cases retaining the iconic outward shape. Ideally the DUKW type craft still need to operate in fairly calm waters, as the weight is not evenally distributed.
A full accident investigation will be carried out, and in the interim period all Liverpool DUKW's are suspended from operation. This latest incident will probably see the end of these type of operations in their current form, as in addtion to the accident marine investigation, insurers will needs to recalculate the risk of insuring this type of novelty vehicle. Photographs show that passengers are not required to wear lifjackets before boarding or during the voyage, and can only access emergency jackets, rafts and floatation equipment once an emergency has been declared.
JULIAN BRAY, Media, Marine, Aviation, & Travel Expert. Broadcaster & Journalist NUJ EQUITY UK Tel: 01733 345581 (home ISDN link )