It's unclear if this is a refurbished DUKW or just a reproduction (as is apparently sometimes the case with these "Duck Ride" companies) but that is probably irrelevant. What is relevant is that there are conflicting stories about whether or not the passengers were wearing life jackets at the time of the collision, despite what the above story says. I'm watching TV and some visiting SEALS from an unknown vessel helped in the rescue. 2 are still missing and the DUKW is underwater, so that looks bad.Posted on Wed, Jul. 7, 2010
2 missing after duck boat crashes into barge
By Sam Wood and Nathan Gorenstein
INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A duck boat packed with tourists collided with a barge on the Delaware River this afternoon soon after it entered the water at Penns Landing, police said.
The collision, at about 2:40 p.m., sent at least 37 adults and children into the river off Columbus Boulevard near Chestnut Street.
Thirty-five passengers have been recovered, said the Coast Guard. A search for two missing passengers continued at 3:40 p.m., said Petty Officer Crystal Keen.
Norman Civera, 41, said he witnessed the duck boat hit the barge.
"It hit pretty hard and pulled the boat under," Civera said. "It went straight under."
He said he saw passengers getting rescued from the water. Some were screaming. None were wearing life jackets, he said.
Four of the passengers - a barefoot and limping teenaged girl, a male in a wheelchair with a head bandage, and two young women - were taken to Hahnemann University Hospital for treatment.
Witness Eric Scharpf, a tourist from Phoenix, Az., told CBS3 that the duck boat had apparently stalled when it was rammed by the barge. The barge "tore it apart," Scharpf said.
Another witness told CBS3 that the barge "just pushed it right under the water" and tourists popped out on either side of the barge.
The barge was being pushed by a tug on its port side.
The duck boat can carry 37 passengers and two crew members, said Sharla Feldsher, spokeswoman for Ride the Ducks.
"We're doing everything we can for the passengers and our guests," Feldsher said.
Tourists board the boats at Independence Mall and after touring Old City they enter the river for a brief tour at a ramp just south of the Ben Franklin Bridge.
Ride the Ducks, which began operating in Philadelphia in 2003, runs 15 duck boats in the city. It launches its vessels from a ramp it built on property owned by the former Penn's Landing Corp. The company itself is about 35 years old, and operates duck boats also in Atlanta, Baltimore, Memphis, Tenn., and Branson, Mo.
The city Streets Department licenses the boats for loading and unloading on the street.
In 1999, the Miss Majestic, an amphibious tour boat, sank and killed 13 passengers in Hot Springs, Arkansas.
The Inquirer will post more details as they become available.
CNN is covering this now.
As an aside the Olympia and SS United States (mentioned in a recent thread here in N&P) have been visible in the video. The accident happened near the Olympia, I believe.