In wholly unrelated news, one day after the people of Pittsburgh held a party on the Allegheny River to celebrate the arrival of the Rubber Duck (as well as to kick-off the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts), see our recent post, a tourist “duck boat”, an amphibious bus, caught fire in the River Thames just off the Houses of Parliament, in London on Sunday. Roughly thirty passengers were rescued by police, the fire brigade and a passing boat. Many had jumped into the river to escape the flames. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured.
The DUKW (colloquially known as a Duck) is a six-wheel-drive amphibious truck that was designed during World War II for transporting goods and troops over land and water and for use approaching and crossing beaches in amphibious attacks. They have become very popular as amphibious tourist buses in port cities around the world.
This has not been a good year for duck boats in Britain. Liverpool’s Yellow Duckmarine has shuts its doors after one of its boats sank in March and another sank in June. In the second sinking, 31 passengers had to be rescued, fortunately without serious injuries being reported.
Thanks to Alaric Bond and Brian Frissel for contributing to this post.