When Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip rode the amphibious tour bus, the Yellow Duckmarine, for a tour of Liverpool last year, they may have elevated this rather conspicuous mode of tourism to a slightly more dignified position.
This week, the image of these tours has sunk again—rather literally. Over Easter weekend, a lunchtime run by the Beatlemania-tinged tour—which passes by several local landmarks, including the Cavern Club where the Fab Four got their start—ended abruptly when the boat began to sink in the River Mersey. Luckily, as The Daily Mail's Becky Evans reports, all of the passengers were evacuated safely to a pontoon. (Beatles nerds might note that "Ferry Cross the Mersey" was not a Beatles song, but a hit for Gerry & The Pacemakers.) From the shore, many passengers watched (and documented) the Duckmarine sinking, not unlike Pete Best’s star potential back in the day.
Happily, no one was hurt, but the amphibious DUKW vehicles—originally used by the U.S. military during World War II—have seen their share of bad accidents as tour vehicles in the past, including a deadly crash in Philadelphia in 2010.
Duckmarine officials told The Daily Mail that they're suspending the water portion of tours with their other Duckmarines while they conduct an investigation of the accident. "Our crew are incredibly experienced and they acted very quickly," sales manager Paul Furlong told reporter Becky Evans. "It's still a fine tour but we're not charging the full amount."