Probe into Yellow Duckmarine sinking

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The Duckmarine sank in the Albert Dock. Picture © Suzanne Jones/Twitter

The Duckmarine sank in Salthouse Dock, next to the Albert Dock. Picture © Suzanne Jones/Twitter

A police investigation is underway following the sinking of one of the city’s iconic Yellow Duckmarine amphibious vehicles – the second incident of its kind at the Albert Dock this year.

A large-scale rescue operation took place on Saturday afternoon as a total of 31 passengers, including a baby, were brought to safety after a fleet of ambulances, firefighters and a Sea King helicopter attended the scene, which was witnessed by shocked crowds down by the Mersey waterfront.

Among those who were rescued, 18 people were taken to hospital after emerging from the Salthouse Dock area, but all were later discharged.

The eye-catching craft have become a tourism favourite in Liverpool as they tour the city’s streets before taking to the water.

This is not the first time one of the World War II-era vehicles has become submerged in the dock as a similar incident occurred in March.

Although this was not the craft in the four-strong fleet in this latest sinking, it is the same Duckmarine which the Queen travelled on during her visit to Liverpool last year.

A statement by operators Yellow Duckmarine said: “Following the incident involving Quacker 1, we are working closely with our regulatory body, The Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Merseyside Police.

“The craft involved in the incident holds a valid passenger carrying certificate.

“The craft has now been recovered and following consultation with MCA has been taken to a place of safe and secure storage in order that a full investigation can take place. That will continue tomorrow morning.

“Our team followed their emergency response procedure, ensuring the safe disembarkation of passengers on board. We were aided in this regard by a number of canal boat owners berthed in Salthouse Dock to whom we would like to express our thanks. We would also like to express our thanks to the emergency services and the Albert Dock Security team onsite for their immediate and exemplary response.

“We will continue to provide full cooperation with MCA and Merseyside Police. We are pleased that all of the passengers who were taken to hospital as a precaution, have now been released.”

A spokesman for Merseyside Police said: “A multi-agency investigation into the full circumstances of the incident is ongoing.”

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