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Mayor calls for re-think on 'duck' tours after latest sinking

by Ian Mitchelmore. Published Mon 17 Jun 2013 11:12, last updated: 17/06/13
Mayor Joe Anderson
Mayor Joe Anderson

The Mayor of Liverpool has called for the Yellow Duckmarine fleet to be 'mothballed in a museum' after one of the tourist boats sank carrying 33 passengers.

Eyewitnesses said the vessel, a 70 year-old former World War II vehicle, sank straight away when it descended into the Albert Dock from a ramp.

The Duckmarine is a popular tourist attraction and takes sightseers on a tour around Liverpool before splashing into the waters on the banks of the River Mersey.

Previous high profile passengers include The Queen and Prince Phillip, Richard
Branson and Sir Paul McCartney.

Emergency services and RAF helicopters were scrambled to the Salthouse Dock and the passengers were taken to hospital.

The sinking is the second major blow for the Duckmarines this year after another of their amphibious bus-boats sank on March 30.

Mayor Joe Anderson described the accident as 'a disaster' and called for the fleet to be permanently anchored.

He said: "It is absolutely a no-brainer after this accident that these boats don’t go back in the water at all.

"They can argue they’ve got safety certificates and had their checks, but for two to sink in the last three months, it’s just not good enough.

"If the company want to continue to work they need to invest in new vehicles.

"These should be mothballed and put in a museum. The safety of people must come first.

"This could have been a real disaster."

The boat was carrying 33 passengers, with 28, including a young baby needing hospital treatment. They were all later discharged without suffering serious injury.

A Yellow Duckmarine spokesperson said: "We work closely at all times with the Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the marine industry's independent regulatory body, to ensure it complies with all health and safety and regulatory obligations.

"The matter is being investigated in the normal way as a marine accident by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch(MAIB), who are carrying out an exhaustive investigation and we will continue to provide every assistance to the MAIB in that regard.

"Yellow Duckmarine is proud of the reputation it has earned and the contribution it has made to the economy and image of the City Region during the many years it has safely carried almost two million passengers in Albert Dock."


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