Propulsion failure and subsequent beaching of DUKW amphibious passenger vehicle Beatrice

Location: Opposite River Thames Fire Station on the River Thames, Lambeth, England.

Accident Investigation Report 3/2002

Read our marine accident investigation report, which includes what happened, actions taken, and recommendations:

beatrice.pdf (317.22 kb)


On 31 March 2001, the amphibious craft Beatrice suffered a propulsion failure and subsequently beached opposite the River Thames Fire Station, Lambeth.

Safety Issues

The cause of the damage to the propeller duct was the movement of the “A-frame support” under conditions of shock loading. This was caused initially by the sudden momentary seizure of the propeller while under load and, finally, by the continued operation of the propeller drive shaft while in a distorted condition.

The sudden and momentary seizure of the propeller was most probably brought about by the entry of a large solid object into the propeller duct during the early part of the passage.


Recommendations have been made on the provision of entry guards to the propeller duct and guidance about handling passengers in an emergency situation.

This report was published in January 2001.

Published 23 January 2015