Time to retire the DUKWs?

#41
I used to watch the DUKW coming up the ramp at Vauxhall when I worked nearby.

I don’t really understand why they add the superstructure. It seem superfluous.

They are only used for tourism/leisure and I doubt if people would want to go out on it if it was pissing down
 
#42
I used to watch the DUKW coming up the ramp at Vauxhall when I worked nearby.

I don’t really understand why they add the superstructure. It seem superfluous.

They are only used for tourism/leisure and I doubt if people would want to go out on it if it was pissing down
Shade maybe? At least over here.

Whatever the safety/actions on briefing was, sadly it wasn't effective.

I wonder why the DUKW capsized though? If the military vehicle can cope with the English Channel, or the Pacific Ocean, the wind-driven surf on an inland lake should have been within its capability. Maybe there was a failure - bilge pump perhaps, or rudder to steer into the waves rather than side-on and it swamped. Or maybe a seal failure causing it to flood.
 
#46
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.
Dunno if they are new or rebuilt but, the one's they have pootling around San Diego harbour look to be in very good nick. I wouldn't get in one, never liked them and having seen the film of the accidents on the BBC yesterday one needs to ask what brainless mong would take one out in seriously choppy 3' - 5' waves with tourists aboard.
 
#47
This was a regular "feature" of the Albert Dock DUKW tours. They would line up the DUKW on the Salthouse Dock Boat Quay and drive flat out into the Dock - all the passengers screaming in delight (I think it was delight!). I often wondered what would happen if the driver misjudged his speed.

Dark Nit - the photos of Wacker Quacker 1 - aren't they showing where WC 1 is approaching the Boat Quay having finished its tour around the Docks?
@dave8307 The photos are from the official government report (see my link) and are taken looking towards the city centre. The DUKW is actually in Salthouse Dock heading towards the ramp.
1532184160087.png

The Radio City tower is visible back right and Albert dock buildings are behind the photographer. The curved building is the Hilton.
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
#48
Indeed. Having it at least in hand when the figurative wheels started coming off might have helped.

Ultimately, 17 people have died as a result of a family day out, and they are far from the first to have perished on these tours.

Change is needed.
I’m not sure I agree with your last sentence entirely. Yes it’s sad, yes it’s a tragedy. But life is dangerous inherently. Accidents and confluences of circumstances happen. Do we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool and live in a padded cell so that nothing bad can happen to us? If so life would be dull IMHO... stick man on a lake in bad weather in a man made thing etc etc - it has the potential to go ‘wrong’, but I wouldn’t legislate activities off the map just because of this - where does it stop? No skiing, no sky diving, no subaqua etc?

RIP
 
#49
I’m not sure I agree with your last sentence entirely. Yes it’s sad, yes it’s a tragedy. But life is dangerous inherently. Accidents and confluences of circumstances happen. Do we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool and live in a padded cell so that nothing bad can happen to us? If so life would be dull IMHO... stick man on a lake in bad weather in a man made thing etc etc - it has the potential to go ‘wrong’, but I wouldn’t legislate activities off the map just because of this - where does it stop? No skiing, no sky diving, no subaqua etc?

RIP
Could I just interject, sir. In europe there are rules, processes and procedures to factor for shoddy design and practices and for adhoc visits of the emperor there are the Elve's of the H&SE.

Whilst in the USA there is an organisation called OSHA Home | Occupational Safety and Health Administration which on the surface of it seems to pretty much do what the HSE does. However, the reality is that there is very little evidence outside large organisations, and even in some of those, that there is any regard for any of the regulations, guidelines and practices laid down by OSHA.

It is pretty much like policing where they seem to only concentrate on ticketing people for jumping red lights, or speeding as a means of revenue generation for their particular city. Then when there is an accident, or death, caused by bald tyres, insecure load, or other reason then, and only then, will they actually implement the law in prosecuting someone. OSHA related offences only seem to be prosecuted after the fact of an accident, or death and then often times only as a result of a private prosecution - which is why they have big lawsuits and humungous settlements here.

It is more about making a buck than regarding the safety of customers, or the public. In the UK I was a responsible person for HSE through the plumbing thing and had to attend a few courses including working at height, chemical handling, materials handling and even a St Johns/Hospital run course on safely moving injured personnel. What I see in the US would have me filling out reports to the local HSE office in the UK but, here people just accept it as normal - even though the law say's it isn't.
 
Last edited:
#50
I’m not sure I agree with your last sentence entirely. Yes it’s sad, yes it’s a tragedy. But life is dangerous inherently. Accidents and confluences of circumstances happen. Do we wrap ourselves up in cotton wool and live in a padded cell so that nothing bad can happen to us? If so life would be dull IMHO... stick man on a lake in bad weather in a man made thing etc etc - it has the potential to go ‘wrong’, but I wouldn’t legislate activities off the map just because of this - where does it stop? No skiing, no sky diving, no subaqua etc?

RIP
Agreed, but within my lifetime, seatbelts in cars weren't required to be fitted, let alone worn, and people frequently died by going through windshields. Then airbags came along. Cross-ply tires went away. Crumple zones came in.

My point is that regulation helped save lives doing something that has some degree of inherent danger.

See here for the progression: Reported Road Casualties Great Britain - Wikipedia

These civilianized DUKWs need to be safer to ride in, especially when things go awry. Dozens of people have died in them. That just seems wrong/unneccessary.
 
#51
I'm not against the DUKWs per se, but if they are going to be used for fare paying passengers then they have to be as safe as they reasonably can be. Have a look at the repairs to the Wacker Quacker in the government report. The condition of the patching and welds was criminally bad to the point that getting a tyre stuck in the prop ripped the shaft V struts out of the hull.

In some parts of the prop tunnel there were visibly six layers of over-plating, none of it done particularly well. Added to the poor plating the corrosion between plates and badly corroded V strut support shoes and it was an accident waiting to happen.

That said, the quality of the wiring was unbelievably bad too. Having spent a large part of my youth wiring accessories into cars, I'd have been ashamed of my 18 year old self if I'd not done a better job.

It's a different risk profile driving a DUKW up a beach in Normandy under fire and driving a tourist trip in a dock or up and down a lake / river.
 
#52
The DUKW's used on the Thames in London, have a slush box and have been re-engined.

The 'Captain' of the DUKW in this instance, told the passengers they didn't need to put on their lifejackets and, when they needed to, it was too late, deffo bad drills.
They got away with formally MCA qualified crews too by having the drivers registered as "thames watermen" (now boatmaster).
 
#53
I'm not against the DUKWs per se, but if they are going to be used for fare paying passengers then they have to be as safe as they reasonably can be. Have a look at the repairs to the Wacker Quacker in the government report. The condition of the patching and welds was criminally bad to the point that getting a tyre stuck in the prop ripped the shaft V struts out of the hull.

In some parts of the prop tunnel there were visibly six layers of over-plating, none of it done particularly well. Added to the poor plating the corrosion between plates and badly corroded V strut support shoes and it was an accident waiting to happen.

That said, the quality of the wiring was unbelievably bad too. Having spent a large part of my youth wiring accessories into cars, I'd have been ashamed of my 18 year old self if I'd not done a better job.

It's a different risk profile driving a DUKW up a beach in Normandy under fire and driving a tourist trip in a dock or up and down a lake / river.
I was talking to an ex DUKW owner the other day when we were discussing the ATTURM restoration. Amongst other DUKW adventures he had crossed the channel in his and driven it to Paris for a parade whereupon he was asked by the then Mayor of Paris (one Jacques Chirac) if he would be prepared to drive it on the Siene. My chum told him that if the DUKW could go on the river then the Mayor could drive it (which he then did)

The point made by him to the restorers of the ATTURM DUKW was that if at all possible don't put the hull in water, and if you have to put it in water then make sure it isn't salt water.
 

Similar threads


New Posts

Top