Safety warning after accidents involving DUKW amphibious passenger vehicles

Urgent recommendation made to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Safety Bulletin 3/2013

Safety Bulletin 3-2013.pdf (4.38 kb)


The Marine Accident Investigation Branch is carrying out investigations into the:

  • flooding and sinking of the DUKW amphibious vehicle Wacker Quacker 1 in Salthouse Dock, Liverpool, England on 15 June 2013
  • fire on board the DUKW amphibious vehicle Cleopatra on the River Thames, London, England on 29 September 2013

The MAIB identified significant difficulties in fitting a DUKW with the volume of foam required to meet the buoyancy standards set out in MSN 1699 (M)[footnote 1]. Further, the nature of these old amphibious vessels, specifically their weight in relation to their size and the complexity of their propulsion arrangements, makes it difficult for operators to comply with the standards applicable to more conventional craft by solely using internal foam buoyancy. An alternative standard, ensuring that DUKWs have the necessary level of damage survivability, therefore needs to be established if they are to be operated safely.

Published: 28 October 2013

  1. Also see amendment to MSN 1699 

Updates to this page

Published 23 January 2015