UK investigators call for ban of amphibious vehicles

| 28/10/2013

(CNS): Following two major incidents involving amphibious vehicles in the UK, investigators there are calling for a ban on these vessels until buoyancy issues have been addressed. Often referred to as 'duck boats', the vehicles are buses that go into the water and have become popular for tourist excursions. At least two companies are operating several amphibious vessels in Cayman, despite numerous questions surrounding the safety of these types of vehicles. According to media reports from the UK, the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) has blamed buoyancy foam for accidents in Liverpool on 15 June and London on 29 September.

Although one vehicle sank because of flooding,and the other involved a fire, the link between both events is the foam inserted into the vehicles to provide buoyancy, the experts have said, and the MAIB has recommended that the all amphibious vehicles are prevented from operating until the issue of how much foam should be used is addressed and standards of buoyancy and stability can be achieved without affecting safety.

Here in Cayman there have been no incidents or accidents involving the vehicles, which are all understood to be new vessels. It is not clear if they use the same type of foam or what safety questions have been asked and answered about them and their operations locally.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    These sort of tourist operations have operated in many, many cities around the world for many years. Why does two incidents in the UK mean they should be shut down? If they have adequate insurance and safety regulations why should they? I have no interest in the operations but knee jerk reactions seem out of place. Has there been other incidents around the world?

  2. SKEPTICAL says:

    What about insurance for the Aquabus, and indeed any tourist boats at Stingray City etc. – what Third Party Liability coverage do they have, or are REQUIRED by law to have?  Murphy's Law being what is – " if anything can go wrong, it will " should there ever be a serious accident, you can bet your life that  apart from the ordinary claimants for damages there will be a couple of individuals who are prominent in their respective professional fields, whose families will be looking for Mega-Dollar settlements. Who checks to see if there are sufficient appropriate life-jackets on board. Is there a pre-cruise abandon ship procedures demonstration?  Personally I detest all the bloody bureaucratic Health & Safety regulations which now intrude on our enjoyment of fun activities, from the cradle to the grave. But sadly – that is the World  in which we now live, and with " ambulance chasing " attorneys looking for any chance to make a  buck  on contingency fee litigation, you better make sure you all of your "T's" and all of your "I's" are crossed and dotted.

    • Anonymous says:

      You will probably find that the cruise lines require the operators to have liability insurance for anything sold by them, fairly standard requirement.

  3. Blub says:

    I'd be more concerned about those buses taking unsuspecting tourists to the turtle farm.  I do not think i have ever seen a vehicle crab and lean as badly as one of those….death trap.  Last time i saw the one with a real bad case of the 'crabs', it it had broken down blocking the camana bay stretch of the bypass, so with any luck they actually fixed the darn thing or scrapped that one.   Then again, I doubt it.  As for these 'duck boats', can't say I see the attraction.  Are the tenders not enough for our brave visitors?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Dat Bus Can't Swim!

  5. Anonymous says:

    They are banned in Liverpool following two sinkings and London has had fires on board them. Safety needs to be examined.

    • Anonymous says:

      Err, was that not what the article was about? Or are you a Master of the Bleedin' Obvious (MOBO)

  6. Otherview says:

    They will shut themselves down. Crime on this island will kill tourism and they won't be able to afford gas.  DO SOMTHING ABOUT THE CRIME BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Shut them down.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well, I'm sure that here, everything is done right by the book.

  9. Anonymous says:

    It's a Bus!   It's a Boat!     It's a watery grave!