Time to retire the DUKWs?

#1
Another accident with DUKWs, this time with 17 fatalities:

DUKW sinking

This is the latest of several incidents including the Wacker Quacker in the Albert Dock and the Cleopatra on the Thames.

Two other DUKW incidents

Bearing in mind that the DUKWs were built in the early 1940s and used during the D-Day landings, it it not time to retire them permanently from public service?

  • The converted DUKWs had not been properly approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) when they were certified to carry passengers in 2000.
  • Over the years, the MCA’s regulatory supervision was insufficient to ensure the DUKWs were being operated safely.
  • Following the sinking of Wacker Quacker 1, extra buoyancy foam was inserted into the London DUKWs without considering its proximity to machinery, which directly led to the fire in Cleopatra.
  • The report contains recommendations to the MCA, DSVA and LDT aimed at: improving the safety of DUKWs operating in the UK; providing a consistent approach to meeting the UK’s regulatory requirements and; developing industry best practice.
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#2
No
Reading the report weather was the problem - those things shouldn't be out in weather - so not a DiK issue but human issue.

Poor regulation of operators and oversight isn't a Dukw issue.

An accident 5 years ago followed closely by an accident resulting from a poorly thought out knee jerk response - no issues since then

I think they are safe enough - perhaps an age restriction - no infants etc- but beyond that let them be.

Id be more inclined to remove any superstructure added for passenger comfort.
 
#3
No
Reading the report weather was the problem - those things shouldn't be out in weather - so not a DiK issue but human issue.

Poor regulation of operators and oversight isn't a Dukw issue.

An accident 5 years ago followed closely by an accident resulting from a poorly thought out knee jerk response - no issues since then

I think they are safe enough - perhaps an age restriction - no infants etc- but beyond that let them be.

Id be more inclined to remove any superstructure added for passenger comfort.

They were designed to cope with massive surf - added superstructure was not part of the design.
 
#4
Boats are the best platform to go sightseeing on the oggin.

Buses are the best platform to go sightseeing on terra firma.

There are very few applications for a platform which does both (poorly) outside of the military sphere, and is nothing more than an unnecessarily dangerous gimmick.
 
#5
They were designed to cope with massive surf - added superstructure was not part of the design.
Have an informative I was under the impression they were benign sea states only -

Question for our nautical brethren is designed for massive surf the same as can handle rough water - on the face of it - it seems logical but is a short sharp rough shallow possibly wheel touching bottom surf very different to surviving (sustained) ocean swells - so perhaps a design for A may not do B
 
#6
Have an informative I was under the impression they were benign sea states only -

Question for our nautical brethren is designed for massive surf the same as can handle rough water - on the face of it - it seems logical but is a short sharp rough shallow possibly wheel touching bottom surf very different to surviving (sustained) ocean swells - so perhaps a design for A may not do B
 
#7
Knew this bloke once, right. Got pissed and nicked one fully POL'd out of the vehicle park where he was based in Germany, right. Drove it all the way through Belgium and into the sea at Ostend. Sank and drowned, right.
 
#8
Knew this bloke once, right. Got pissed and nicked one fully POL'd out of the vehicle park where he was based in Germany, right. Drove it all the way through Belgium and into the sea at Ostend. Sank and drowned, right.
Bit depressed that day but other wise a stalwart of the battalion take it
 
#10
When the DUKW was on trials there was a massive storm offshore. The sea state was so bad that a lifeboat started to sink. They launched 2 DUKWs which were able to rescue the crew without mishap in just over 5 minutes. Their performance in heavy seas was exceptional.
 
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#11
They're newly manufactured - based on the old design but very new....
Got link for that?

AFAIAW, they are rebuilt original DUKWs. We did "Ride the Ducks" at Stone Mountain in Georgia when the kids were young. The tit of a driver made a point of flooring it down the launching ramp into the lake. All it would have taken is some kid to have bashed their grid on the seat in front, or something similar for an entirely avoidable accident to have happened.

In some places, they use them in either brackish, or outright salt water, and then back on land, and then back in the oggin. A pretty harsh environment for any machine, let alone one based on a 70 year old chassis.

A fine idea to use them for fun, but far too many have died doing it. Apparently there are more fatalities on US golf courses than on DUKWs, but pissed-up golf cart cabbying is a different sport than an excursion with the kids.
 

Joshua Slocum

LE
Book Reviewer
#12
Another accident with DUKWs, this time with 17 fatalities:

DUKW sinking

This is the latest of several incidents including the Wacker Quacker in the Albert Dock and the Cleopatra on the Thames.

Two other DUKW incidents

Bearing in mind that the DUKWs were built in the early 1940s and used during the D-Day landings, it it not time to retire them permanently from public service?

  • The converted DUKWs had not been properly approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) when they were certified to carry passengers in 2000.
  • Over the years, the MCA’s regulatory supervision was insufficient to ensure the DUKWs were being operated safely.
  • Following the sinking of Wacker Quacker 1, extra buoyancy foam was inserted into the London DUKWs without considering its proximity to machinery, which directly led to the fire in Cleopatra.
  • The report contains recommendations to the MCA, DSVA and LDT aimed at: improving the safety of DUKWs operating in the UK; providing a consistent approach to meeting the UK’s regulatory requirements and; developing industry best practice.
View attachment 343122
Too much top hamper, they were never designed to carry the weight high up, nor to have drive trains boxed in and covered with foam
 
#13
I've been interested on Amphib vehicles ever since working at ATTURM a few years ago. The DUKWs there had a fairly restrictive sea state limitation and where very maintenance heavy. A few years later I investigated obtaining one to do trips on the Dart. It seems the MCA would never be able to code an original one for commercial use without some major redesign of the hull penetrations. There was a replica version available at a significant cost, which is why I imagine they only operated in places with big tourist potential.
 

seaweed

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
I crashed a DUKW into the transom of a Landing Craft once. The Poole Base Shipwright Officer was standing on the stern of the LC and said rude words, nasty man.
 
#18
The original DUKW design was exceptional. The main bulge pump for instance could cope with the ingress of water from a 15x4 inch gash in the hull.

the hull was further divided into three compartments and any one could be completely flooded and the vessel (?) Would remain afloat.

An acquaintance of mine, Glyn Hewitt was something of an expert and refused to get involved in the Civvie ones on the Thames as he felt that converting them to carry passengers compromised too many design features.

Searles of Hunstanton used them in original guide for sea tours for donkeys years without mishap.

the last ATTURM DUKW is now in private hands and being restored.
 
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Fang_Farrier

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#20

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