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Passenger Ships: Accidents

Transport written question – answered on 18th July 2013.

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Photo of Louise Ellman Louise Ellman Chair, Transport Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment he has made of the response of the Marine Accident Investigation Branch to the sinking of the leisure craft in Liverpool on 30 March 2013; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Stephen Hammond Stephen Hammond The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch acted in accordance with the legislation in respect of the incident on 20 March 2013.

On 30 March 2013, it was reported to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB) that Wacker Quacker 4, a DUKW operated by Yellowduck Marine, had foundered in Albert Dock, Liverpool. The circumstances of the accident were that the DUKW had suffered a malfunction of its hydraulic steering system such that it could not manoeuvre back to the slipway.

With the assistance of another vessel, the DUKW was manoeuvred alongside a pontoon to disembark the passengers, whereupon the crew noticed that the vessel was taking on water.

Once all passengers had left the DUKW, attempts were made to move the vessel to the slipway for recovery. The DUKW sank before it reached the slipway, but was subsequently recovered.

The MAIB made enquiries from which it was established that water had entered the DUKW via a drainage hole, as the plug had not been refitted at the start of the day's operations. It was further established that the Maritime and Coastguard Agency was following up the sinking, and was taking steps with Yellowduck Marine to ensure that the DUKWs had enough buoyancy to remain afloat when flooded.

As no crew or passengers had been injured during the event, and because the marine regulator reported it was taking what appeared to be appropriate action to prevent a recurrence, the MAIB decided not to investigate further.

Following the sinking of Wacker Quacker 1 on 15 June 2013, the MAIB commenced a full investigation that will include a review of the actions taken following the earlier sinking of Wacker Quacker 4.

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