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Time to call a halt to ducks; ECHO.

WE can all thank our lucky stars that nobody was seriously injured or killed when a Yellow Duckmarine vessel sank with 31 people on board on Saturday afternoon.

The vessel sank in a matter of minutes, and but for the valiant efforts of rescuers, the consequences could have been grave.

This incident comes just three months after another Duckmarine, thankfully without passengers aboard, sank.

That led to the suspension of the service while an investigation was held, and is due to be the subject of a public inquiry by the North West Traffic Commissioner later this month.

The service has now been suspended again, and common sense would dictate that there should be no further passenger trips on the remaining two vessels in the four-strong fleet.

These World War II vintage amphibious landing craft have been incredible workhorses, but now, 68 years on from the end of the war, it is surely time to consign them to the museums they clearly belong in.

These tours have proved to be an enormously popular draw for tourists, and an engaging part of the city's growing attraction for visitors from the UK and abroad.

But it is not worth risking one serious injury, let alone a death, to keep this service running.

Even setting aside the human toll, the damage this would do to our tourism industry does not bear thinking about.

If Duckmarine tours are to continue to delight visitors to our waterfront, then it is time for them to be conducted in more modern, fit-for-purpose amphibious vehicles.

Two warnings should be more than enough to make the message clear. Using these vehicles for passengers again is a risk we cannot afford to take.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 17, 2013
Words:288
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