London Ducks cleared to splash after probe

London Duck Tours (LDT) has received a clean bill of health, and is continuing to operate its water and road-based operations using former military amphibious vehicles ‘Ducks’ (DUKWs).

It follows the publication of a report by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), into the sinking of a DUKW in Liverpool and the fire on DUKW Cleopatra in September 2013.

The Liverpool operation was run by Pearlwild Ltd, which has no connections with LDT and has since ceased trading.

LDT has been operating for 11 years and has a fleet of nine DUKWs. The tour leaves from just behind the London Eye and takes approximately 75 minutes. The splashdown into the Thames takes place at its slipway, next door to MI6. Each year LDT runs 8,000 tours carrying 200,000 passengers.

Originally used in the Second World War, LDT’s DUKWs have been completely rebuilt from scratch and modified to meet the stringent safety regulations set by the road and river authorities.

Says LDT MD John Bigos: “This report has acted as a catalyst to develop a stronger amphibious passenger vehicle industry, consistent regulation and a fit-for-purpose standard. LDT, as the European market leader and an iconic attraction of London, will continue to play its full part in contributing to London’s diverse, vibrant and world-beating tourism industry.”