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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation M-00-005
Details
Synopsis: Nationwide, more than 250 amphibious vessels are in passenger service. Of these, 26 are LARC or ALVIS stalwart amphibious vessels; the rest are DUKW's. Approximately 30 companies operate amphibious passenger vessels in 16 states and the District of Columbia. The National Transportation Safety Board estimates that, in the United States, amphibious excursion vessels carry more than 1 million passengers each year. Shortly before noon on Saturday, May 1, 1999, the amphibious excursion boat Miss Majestic entered Lake Hamilton near Hot Springs, Arkansas, on a regular excursion tour of the area. On board were 20 passengers and 1 operator. According to the operator, several minutes after entering the water, the vessel listed to port and then sank rapidly by the stern. The vessel sank below the surface of the water, taking the passengers and the operator with it. The vessel sank in 60 feet of water, and 13 of the 20 passengers, including 3 children, lost their lives.
Recommendation: THE NTSB RECOMMENDS THAT OPERATORS AND MANUFACTURERS/REFURBISHERS OF AMPHIBIOUS PASSENGER VESSELS: Without delay, alter your amphibious passenger vessels to provide reserve buoyance through passive means, such as watertight compartmentallization, built-in flotation, or equivalent measures, so that they will remain afloat and upright in the event of flooding, even when carrying a full complement of passengers and crew.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received
Mode: Marine
Location: Other Lakes, AR, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: DCA99MM021
Accident Reports:
Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic
Report #: MAR-02-01
Accident Date: 5/1/1999
Issue Date: 2/18/2000
Date Closed: 2/4/2008
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Aqua Traks, Inc. (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Austin Duck Adventures (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Boston Duck Tours (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Buffalo Point (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Cape Cod Duckmobiles (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Chattanooga Ducks (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Chicago Duck Tours/ Chicago Trolley Tours (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Chicago DUKW Corporation (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Cool Stuff Tours C.A.M.I., LLC (Closed - Acceptable Action)
DC Ducks - Old Town Trolley Tours (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Dells Duck Tours (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
DUCKS Amphibious Renovations and Sales (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Just Ducky Tours (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Land and Sea Tours (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Lowcountry Duck Tours (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Maui Duck Tours (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Metro Ducks (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Moby Duck Tours (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Naples Land and Sea Tours (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
National Park Duck Tours (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Original Wisconsin Ducks, Inc. (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Outfitters Kauai (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Ozark Mountain Ducks (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc. (Closed--No Longer Applicable)
Plymouth Amphibious Tours (Splashdown Tours) (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Ride the Ducks International, LLC (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
Ride the Ducks of Seattle (Closed - Acceptable Alternate Action)
South Padre Water Sports/ Breakaway Cruises (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Sterling Equipment (Closed - Unacceptable Action - No Response Received)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Original Wisconsin Ducks, Inc.
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May I. 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified "Closed-Unacceptable Action/No Response Received." Should the Safety Board receive a timely response indicating action taken or planned to address this recommendation, we will consider reevaluating its classification.

From: NTSB
To: Original Wisconsin Ducks, Inc.
Date: 5/6/2003
Response: Your letter outlined various safety improvements that Wisconsin Ducks has made since May 1999 to address this recommendation and other safety needs. The Safety Board appreciates this update. The Board issued a similar recommendation, Safety Recommendation M-02-2, stated below, to the Coast Guard in conjunction with our completed report on the investigation into the Miss Majestic accident. M-02-2 Until such time that owners provide sufficient reserve buoyancy in their amphibious passenger vehicles so that they will remain upright and afloat in a fully flooded condition (by M-02-1), require the following: 1. removal of canopies for waterborne operations or installation of a Coast Guard-approved canopy that does not restrict either horizontal or vertical escape by passengers in the event of sinking, 2. reengineering of each amphibious vehicle to permanently close all unnecessary access plugs and to reduce all necessary through-hull penetrations to the minimum size necessary for operation, 3. installation of independently powered electric bilge pumps that are capable of dewatering the craft at the volume of the largest remaining penetration to supplement either an operable Higgins pump or a dewatering pump of equivalent or greater capacity, 4. installation of four independently powered bilge alarms, 5. inspection of the vehicle in water after each time a through-hull penetration has been removed or uncovered, 6. verification of a vehicle's watertight condition in the water at the outset of each waterborne departure, and 7. compliance with all remaining provisions of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-01. The Board has asked the Coast Guard to certify that each operating company is in compliance with the seven provisions of Safety Recommendation M-02-2. When the Coast Guard has completed the Board's request, we will provide a further evaluation of Safety Recommendation M-00-5 for Wisconsin Ducks. In the interim, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: Original Wisconsin Ducks, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 8/1/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/09/2002 10:00:12 AM MC# 2020760 The following outlines the status of that recommendation as well as other safety improvements Original Wisconsin Ducks has pro-actively researched and implemented since May 1999. Reserve Buoyancy (M-00-5). We are actively researching new reserve-buoyancy options, which would not impede the regular visual checks and maintenance work we do to ensure the safety of our fleet. Because ducks are unique vehicles, Original Wisconsin Ducks and the U.S. Coast Guard have concerns that buoyancy materials or compartmentalization of the duck could hinder other preventive maintenance checks. We are dedicated to finding a solution for this recommendation, but we are also cautious about altering these novel vehicles in a way that may create other safety concerns. We will share any creative solutions that we may discover and would like to be informed of other ideas as well. Canopies. The canopies used on Original Wisconsin Ducks meet current standards set forth by the U.S. Coast Guard to provide an adequate horizontal width for escape. (In fact, the U.S. Coast Guard used our canopy design for setting that standard width.) In addition, we are currently testing a design on a new Velcro-attached breakaway canopy that allows for a non-restrictive vertical-escape route. We plan to share this canopy design with the industry if it works as expected. Water-Restriction Plates. New "restrictor" plates have been added around the drive shaft of all Original Wisconsin Ducks to greatly limit water intake in the event of a boot coming loose or not being secured correctly. In the immediate aftermath of the Arkansas accident, our duck maintenance experts designed these restrictor plates, tested them and shared our work with the industry at both the U.S. Coast Guard and NTSB hearings. This reengineering work was complete on our fleet by early 2000. Additional Bilge Pump/Alarm Installation. Immediately following the Arkansas accident, two additional bilge pumps and an additional bilge alarm were installed on each of our tour ducks. Since then, even more have been added. Each Original Wisconsin Duck now has a total of six bilge pumps on board. Four new electric pumps and the original Higgins pump would automatically kick in if the hull would start to take in water. In addition, each duck is equipped with a hand-operated pump. We tested the water removal capacity of these pumps to verify the combined pumping ability in the event of a large amount of water. We have also installed four independently powered bilge-pump alarms that would activate if a pump starts. We check all pumps and alarms weekly. In-water Inspections. The NTSB is recommending inspection of vehicles in the water each time a part that penetrates the hull has been removed or uncovered during repair or maintenance checks. This is a standard operating practice that Original Wisconsin Ducks has always followed. It was one of our recommendations to the industry during the hearings and in light of the discovery that the Arkansas duck had not gone through such an inspection before going out on a tour. Verification of Watertight Condition. This is another recommendation that we shared with the industry during the hearings. Upon a waterborne departure, Original Wisconsin Duck drivers are trained to verify that the duck is not taking on water by looking and listening for signs that the bilge pumps have kicked in. If the driver discovers that a bilge pump has been activated, our rule is that the duck must be immediately brought to land. Compliance With New U.S. Coast Guard Guidelines. We are working with the U.S. Coast Guard on implementing new provisions in the Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-01.(M-02-2). This is 99 percent complete. Life Jackets. At the outset of each tour, our drivers go through a safety review, which includes showing passengers the location of life jackets and how to don the vests. Original Wisconsin Ducks have provided safe rides to more than 14.5 million visitors during 56 years of operation. We believe this exemplary record is due to the stringent safety and maintenance standards to which we adhere. We hope this information is helpful as you finalize your review of the amphibious tour duck industry.

From: NTSB
To: Original Wisconsin Ducks, Inc.
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Original Wisconsin Ducks, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Original Wisconsin Ducks, Inc.
Date: 8/21/2000
Response: The Safety Board is disappointed that Wisconsin Ducks has dismissed the value of reserve buoyancy on DUKW's. An independent naval architect, hired by the Board, confirmed that installation of bulkheads or other means to provide reserve buoyancy was practical in the DUKW's. Without this reserve buoyancy, the amphibious vessels are subject to sinking and a tragedy like the one that occurred in Arkansas could be repeated. Accordingly, the Safety Board requests that the Wisconsin Ducks reconsider their position on this matter and consider taking the requested action. Pending further reply from the Wisconsin Ducks, M-00-5 has been classified "Open--Unacceptable Response." in the interest of accuracy, your letter reflects perceptions of the experience level of our marine staff and Safety Board - U.S. Coast Guard relations that are not factual. Should Wisconsin Ducks wish to discuss these issues, my marine staff can be contacted at (202) 314-6450.

From: Original Wisconsin Ducks, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 5/5/2000
Response: Letter mail controlled 05/15/2000 2:55:12 pm mc# 2000627 Wisconsin Ducks, Inc. Predecessor - in - title, Melvin Flath, started the first amphibious duck operation in 1946 at Wisconsin Dells, WI. Their business was eventually sold to Wisconsin Ducks, Inc. After the 1955 season. The safety of our passengers and our employees is the number one priority in the operation of Wisconsin Ducks. Our goal is that all passengers have a safe and enjoyable tour on land and water. We have operated for over 54 years without a water-related accident. During this time, we have carried over 15 million passengers. Owners of Wisconsin Ducks, who have been in the water passenger carrying business for over 75 years, along with the U. S. Coast guard office in Milwaukee, set the standards which have allowed us to operate safely. While we are no longer under their jurisdiction, we still follow the guidelines set by the coast guard. We feel the NTSB recommendation of reserve buoyancy for all DUKWs will cause great harm to our perfect safety record of over 54 years. The recommendation for foam fails to consider that the DUKW is also a land vehicle. The hull of a duck contains a motor, transmission, transfer case, hydrovac, drive shafts, gas tank and tubing. We perform extensive daily and weekly work on these essential mechanical systems. Preventive maintenance and inspection of our vehicles will not be possible with a hull filled with foam. A watertight bulkhead is possible in the rear of the vehicle, however; a bulkhead located in the front leads to many problems. Namely, a motor, transmission, and transfer case which run from the front into the middle of the vehicle. We have not been able to find a way to continue our high level of maintenance with a bulkhead around any part of the motor or transmission. The NTSB calculations are not applicable to Wisconsin Ducks. We operate with 21 passengers and a pilot. We seat all of our passengers in the cargo area. The aft freeboard on a fully loaded Wisconsin Duck is 17.5 inches. Wisconsin Ducks also operates with a restrictor plate that has a 2"-inch by 4"-inch opening for the drive shaft. This opening leaves 1/8 inch of clearance for the shaft. Our electric bilge pump also acts as a backup to our higgins pump. The U.S. Coast Guard has done an outstanding job in regulating our industry. The failure of one operator to perform routine maintenance properly should not tarnish the coast guard's job or Wisconsin Ducks' reputation. Wisconsin Ducks is quite concerned about the NTSB's lack of expertise in the marine industry and its failure to attend the Coast Guard's meeting of industry leaders in Washington, DC. It is unfortunate that the NTSB's dispute with the Coast Guard over inspection and investigation has led the agency to discredit 54 years of safe operating practices by Wisconsin Ducks and the U.S. Coast Guard. Wisconsin Ducks will continue to improve and implement safety measures that will enable us to uphold our excellent safety record of over 54 years.

From: NTSB
To: Ozark Mountain Ducks
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Ozark Mountain Ducks
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Ozark Mountain Ducks, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Ozark Mountain Ducks
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Lowcountry Duck Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Lowcountry Duck Tours
Date: 8/6/2002
Response: Your October 2000 letter indicated that LDT has undertaken a series of changes that you believe improves LDT's DUKW operation and that its equipment is in compliance with Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations Subchapter T. We note specifically that you have removed the original mechanical bilge pumps and replaced them with six high volume Jobsco electric pumps, have three independent high water alarms, and have a specific operating area that allows you to be in water less than 6 feet deep for a large portion of the route. We commend you for these efforts to improve passenger safety. Further evaluation of your response to Safety Recommendation M-00-5, however, will be deferred until after the Safety Board receives and evaluates the Coast Guard's response to the new recommendations issued in the Board's final report. In the interim, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: NTSB
To: Lowcountry Duck Tours
Date: 8/2/2002
Response: Lowcountry Duck Tours responded to the Safety Board on October 1, 2000. I apologize that the Board has not yet formally responded to your letter. For your information, on April 2, 2002, the Safety Board adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. A copy of the Board’s findings and recommendations is enclosed for your review. The Board is currently reviewing your October 1, 2000, letter based on these findings and recommendations and will provide you with a detailed response to that letter in the near future. Thank you for your patience and, again, I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

From: Lowcountry Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 10/1/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 10/25/2000 3:22:32 PM MC# 2001582 In response to your letter references, the following is our vessel safety program and survivability (explains 11 areas of changes). We feel that in our case we do not want to put in positive flotation because this would interfere with regular steel hull inspection and maintenance. MSO also requires steel hull inspections, which could not be done. The bulkhead separation idea limits us from having all our pumps operating if (1) zone takes on water. Also, the bulkhead separation would have to run up to the gunwale level to be effective at all. We fully meet all requirements of CFR 46, subchapter T. At this time, we foresee no change to our DUKW unless required by MSO Charleston.

From: NTSB
To: Lowcountry Duck Tours
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Dells Duck Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Dells Duck Tours
Date: 5/28/2003
Response: The Safety Board notes Dells Ducks' comprehensive review of the various amphibious vessel operations, including that of the Miss Majestic, as well as your emphasis on comprehensive operator training to ensure safe operation. The Board issued a similar recommendation, Safety Recommendation M-02-2, stated below, to the Coast Guard in conjunction with our completed report on the investigation into the Miss Majestic accident. M-02-2 Until such time that owners provide sufficient reserve buoyancy in their amphibious passenger vehicles so that they will remain upright and afloat in a fully flooded condition (by M-02-1), require the following: 1. removal of canopies for waterborne operations or installation of a Coast Guard-approved canopy that does not restrict either horizontal or vertical escape by passengers in the event of sinking, 2. reengineering of each amphibious vehicle to permanently close all unnecessary access plugs and to reduce all necessary through-hull penetrations to the minimum size necessary for operation, 3. installation of independently powered electric bilge pumps that are capable of dewatering the craft at the volume of the largest remaining penetration to supplement either an operable Higgins pump or a dewatering pump of equivalent or greater capacity, 4. installation of four independently powered bilge alarms, 5. inspection of the vehicle in water after each time a through-hull penetration has been removed or uncovered, 6. verification of a vehicle's watertight condition in the water at the outset of each waterborne departure, and 7. compliance with all remaining provisions of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-01. The Safety Board has asked the Coast Guard to certify that each operating company is in compliance with the seven provisions of Safety Recommendation M-02-2. When the Coast Guard has provided such certification, we will complete our evaluation of Safety Recommendation M-00-5 for Dells Ducks. In the interim, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 remains classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending receipt of this certification from the Coast Guard.

From: Dells Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 7/28/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/05/2002 10:54:51 AM MC# 2020747 We are in receipt of your July 8, correspondence concerning safety in operation of modified amphibious 1945 tour DUKW'S. We have read your recommendations, shared them with maintenance employees as well as safety management. We have followed every article, report, and industry communication concerning the 1999 Miss Majestic tragedy. We attended NTSB meeting in Memphis as well as the following Coast Guard meeting in Washington DC. Your research of DUKW know how is admirable in such a short period of time. I would like to point out in your quest for DUKW safety recommendations many details you assume every tour operator does collectively. I would like to point out differences in DUKW's, differences that could have changed the tragedy in Hot Springs. Wisconsin Dells DUKW's and Chattanooga have kept their vehicles close to original manufacture design. All other DUKW tour operators have altered their vehicles far beyond the scope of their conceived capabilities. DUKW's were designed to carry two and one half tons with payloads in the center of the hull. All Wisconsin Dells and Chattanooga DUKW's are modified to carry payloads less than five thousand pounds and in the center of the hull for stability. With twenty passengers at two hundred pounds a piece plus a short canopy weighing five hundred pounds, these DUKW's are under the designed payload providing twenty-four inches of free board. None of the Wisconsin Dells DlJKw's have seating on the back deck, there are no cages on the back deck, no steps on the back deck, no extended canopy on the back deck, no fixed canopy over the driver. Our canopies are in the center seating area and eight inches higher than the Miss Majestic's. Many modified details to DUKW's add weight lessening free board. Every other DUKW operator allows eight passengers to sit on the back deck, with safety rails, added canopy, many with steps. All these modifications effect payload and free board. The Miss Majestic had seating for eight on the stern, a cage, stairs and a low canopy. With the exception of Wisconsin Dells and Chattanooga, all other DUKW tour operators have eliminated six wheel drive. In doing so they take out the rear axel differential. Eliminating three hundred and fifty pounds leaves an imbalance when the DUKW is in water. There is a see saw effect with this imbalance of weight. The center axel drops while the rear moves up. The center axel is connected to a cylinder or tube that holds the boot that keeps water out of the drive shaft. With this modification the middle axel stretches the accordion boot beyond its original design. The absence of a rear axel negates the designed balance. Some tour operators when taking out the rear differential stuff the hole with a tennis ball. This keeps the water out and the grease in. I don't think a tennis ball was in the original design. Had the Miss Majestic kept its authentic six-wheel design the outcome that day very well could have been avoided. Mechanical repairs and record keeping are done daily at all Wisconsin Dells DUKW tour operations. DUKW's are checked twice before going on tour each day. Once by the driver and again signed off by a mechanic. Every driver has the same DUKW everyday. They get to know his or her DUKW intrinsically. Having such familiarity with their vehicle, anything out of the ordinary is noticed. Records are essential in operating safely in Wisconsin Dells. Mechanical records were not part of Miss Majestic's history. No driver in Wisconsin Dells is allowed a tour without training. No driver, no matter what license they hold, drives a DUKW without extensive training. In Wisconsin Dells safety meetings are held at least three and up to five times per season. In contrast, the Miss Majestic pilot was on the job a week. Her training was minimal and safety dialogue nil. The inexperience and pilot error was enormous that day. Upon entering Lake Hamilton, water rapidly entered the bulkhead. When stepping on the accelerator the pilot should have felt the extreme drag occurring. To make a simple comparison, if one had the emergency brake on when driving a car, they would feel a heavy tug indicating something was holding back normal driving. The tug in this situation would have been fifty times greater. The pilot did not recognize such. Nor did she notice loss of free board due to additional weight from water filling the bulkhead. The pilot looked out at an unusually high bow. The pilot watched passengers play in the water with their feet as it was filling the seating area. With all these signs, the pilot did not comprehend, until 120 seconds were left, that her vessel was sinking and to instruct everyone to abandon ship. Had the pilot been properly trained she would have exited the lake soon after she entered, but as we know, that didn't happen. No public transportation is safe with an untrained operator at the controls. When left mechanically unaltered, there is nothing wrong with the original design of the DUKW. Our DUKW's operate under completely different circumstances than the Miss Majestic, none of which has been considered by NTSB. Our DUKW's are unaltered and in original mechanical condition. Wisconsin Dells DUKW tour operators are not the same as other operators. Our drivers are trained extensively then retrained through safety meetings. We have contingency plans in place at all points on our tour for emergencies. Our DUKWs have no fixed windshields, no canopies over the driver or stern area. Our canopies are eight inches higher than Miss Majestic's. Sitting in a Dells DUKW seat one can easily jump off with no hindrances. In addressing the recommendation by NTSB, that is adding foam to the bulkhead, would in our fifty-six years experience create new danger. Filling the bulkhead space would hinder the mechanics ability to maintain critical parts. Asking to redesign the DUKW is not prudent. We have operated tours safely and will continue to pledge safety first in all our operations. We have always respected passenger safety as number one priority and have never placed people in harms way for profit. Enclosed are photos establishing Wisconsin Dells DUKW free board, high limited canopy, no stern seating, no stern cage or stairs, no fixed windshield, and the use of six wheel drive crossing through a creek. Our DUKW's are not the same as other tour operators. I advocate two classes of DUKW's for safety recommendations. One for Wisconsin Dells, Class I, and one for all other tour operators, Class II. In hopes you consider all DUKW operation facts and re-think your recommended position.

From: NTSB
To: Dells Duck Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Board had previously classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 "Open--Acceptable Response" to your company because you had responded that your company was working to implement the recommendation. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. We would appreciate an update on what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations. Thank you for your attention to this matter; we look forward to hearing from you on this safety issue.

From: NTSB
To: Dells Duck Tours
Date: 8/11/2000
Response: The Safety Board understands that the two duck operations in the Wisconsin Dells are cooperating and sharing information regarding the active prevention of an accident similar to that of the miss majestic. The safety board appreciates that there have been no accidents involving Wisconsin Dells ducks in the 54 years they have been in operation; the board is also aware of the differences in various operations, for example, geography, routes, vessel seating, and canopy arrangements. The Safety Board further understands that dells duck is installing restriction plates over the three drive shaft tubes to prevent unabated flooding due to any failure of the boot system and is also installing new electric bilge pumps which will double the previous discharge capacity. While the aforementioned action is commendable, the safety board is disappointed that dells duck has not addressed the issue of reserve buoyancy. M-00-5 was issued because DUKW's, LARC's, and Alvis Stalwarts have no reserve buoyancy through watertight bulkheads, built-in flotation, or other equivalent means. Although installation of bulkheads or other means to provide reserve buoyancy may involve some creative engineering, without this reserve buoyancy, the amphibious vessels are still subject to sinking. Accordingly, the Safety Board requests that dells duck provide information on how it will provide reserve buoyancy for its vessels. Pending further reply from dells duck regarding the intent of M-00-5, it is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. should Dells Duck wish to discuss this issue, Ash Chatterjee, in the Board's office of marine safety, can be contacted.

From: Dells Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 6/5/2000
Response: This letter is to serve as Dells Duck Tours position on the NTSB recommendations. The two duck operations in Wis. Dells are cooperating and sharing information regarding the active prevention of any similar accident. We feel it could have been prevented and we are committed to making sure it does not. As everyone is aware ducks are WWII amphibious landing craft modified to carry passengers for sightseeing purposes. The degree of alterations have been different in each of the operations around the country. The alterations to accommodate passengers comfort and safety has varied because of the different geographical locations they operate. Some of the tours choose to seat more passengers than others, and many have unique enclosures to protect them from the elements. Other differences are to satisfy local and national regulations in place for safety. Moreover, each operation has a human factor responsible to ensure the maintenance of the vehicles. We feel the dells ducks have had an excellent safety record for over fifty years because of our commitment to maintaining the vehicles as close to original specifications as possible. However, since the 5/1/99 sinking of the miss majestic in hot springs, we have agreed to make changes to prevent a similar incident does not happen here. We are installing restriction plates over the three drive shaft tubes to prevent unabated flooding due to any failure of the boot system. We are also installing new electric bilge pumps which will double the previous capacity. These electric bilge pumps have a high water alarm on a different circuit alerting the driver if the pump fails. These changes are in addition to our existing safety equipment, our rigorous driver training program, the configuration of our vehicles, and the route our ducks tour. *our ducks have radio communication with the base, three fire extinguishers, thirty two life preservers, an anchor, a life ring, and a manual fire pump. *our drivers undergo an intense training program piggy backed with experienced drivers/managers/and mechanics. Our drivers know their vehicles and are a part of the daily maintenance and safety check list of their duck. They also have commercial drivers licenses, CPR training, and a weekly safety meeting. We make sure they are aware of what to do in all conceivable emergency situations, and the instruction of the passengers on safety procedures while onboard. *our ducks only seat passengers in the existing cargo area where the canopy to their sides has thirty four to thirty six inch openings. The ducks have an open canopy in front, back and sides which give passengers four areas to exit in an emergency. This is a major difference compared to the enclosed style of the miss. *finally the route in which our tour follows is consistently the same, and never far from emergency landings on shore. Our route follows a figure eight pattern on a lake and river no more than two miles from base. We are able to assist any problems on the tour within minutes via radio communication. Therefore, dells duck tours having these new and existing measures in place feels we are operating a safe, fun, and enjoyable tour. We thank the NTSB for their recommendations and welcome any in the future if they would become necessary.

From: NTSB
To: Maui Duck Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Maui Duck Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Maui Duck Tours, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Maui Duck Tours
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Chattanooga Ducks
Date: 7/25/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Board is aware that the Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance for the outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In your letter, you indicate that since 2005, Chattanooga Ducks has taken the following actions to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident: ·Installation of additional bilge pumps beyond the requirements of Coast Guard regulations ·Implementation of a more rigorous and strict daily and pre-trip inspection schedule including, but not limited to, pumping systems, bilge and high water alarms, watertight plugs, and driveshaft boots ·Implementation of a requirement that captains review and sign an inspection checklist Because the improvements detailed above, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is reclassified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: Chattanooga Ducks
To: NTSB
Date: 4/7/2008
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 4/7/2008 2:37:06 PM MC# 2080175: UNDATED Received 4-7-08: On Feb 06 2008 we received a letter concerning what actions, if any, had been taken based on Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Current management has been in place since May 2005, well after the date of July 8, 2002, the date of which this request was made. Since May 2005 the actions the Chattanooga Ducks have made to meet M-00-5 have been as follows: 1. Additional bilge pumps have been added. With the additional pumps each vessel now exceeds the Code of Federal Regulations in the ability to dewater our bilge during normal operation as well as in times of emergency. 2. A more rigorous and strict daily and pre-trip inspection schedule including but not limited to pumping systems, bilge and high water alarms, watertight plugs, and driveshaft boots. Each inspecting Captain checks and signs an inspection checklist and is held accountable internally at the Chattanooga Ducks. 3. Any, if not all, recommendations concerning vessel safety given by the United States Coast Guard Marine Safety Officer during our annual inspection for the Certificate of Inspection are implemented. After contacting the Ohio Valley District MSO and Mr. Larry Bowling of the NTSB Marine Safety Division we feel that the Chattanooga Ducks exceed the recommendations of M-00-5 and would request that you reevaluate the classification of M-00-5, which presently is "Closed-Unacceptable Action/No Response Received. Thank you for your time in this matter. Captain Barry Cole, Operations Manager

From: NTSB
To: Chattanooga Ducks
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Chattanooga Ducks
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Chattanooga Ducks, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Chattanooga Ducks
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Moby Duck Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Moby Duck Tours
Date: 8/6/2002
Response: The Safety Board is aware both from our on-site visit with you and your previous correspondence that Public Access Tours, Inc. (d/b/a Moby Duck), has made the safety of its passengers paramount and has taken a number of measures to comply with the intent of the Board's safety recommendation. We commend Moby Duck for its efforts. Further evaluation of your response to Safety Recommendation M-00-5, however, will be deferred until after the Board receives and evaluates the Coast Guard's response to the new recommendations issued in the Board's final report. In the interim, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 remains classified "Open--Acceptable Response."

From: Moby Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 10/30/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 01/23/2002 7:08:53 PM MC# 2020071 Thank you for your correspondence of June 13, 2001. Since we were forced out of business in Salem, Massachusetts this past spring, our resources have been dramatically cut. We can no longer afford to have our Naval Architect handle this situation for us, so I will try to respond to the best of my ability. I am attaching an 8" x 12" picture, a set of original canopy and bulwark drawings and a limited statement of "certification" by John Gilbert Associates. Under the circumstances, it is the best response package that I can assemble. Our Gloucester operation has just concluded its seventh season and we have lost money without our Salem operation. Our existence in the amphibious tour business is tenuous at best. We may close all together. Whether we continue or not, I still firmly believe that we have the safest amphibians and operation, in the country. After your representative's inspection in March of this year, I suspect that they agree. Please review the enclosed data and classify us as being in compliance.

From: NTSB
To: Moby Duck Tours
Date: 6/13/2001
Response: The two Safety Board staff members who met with you on March 23, 2001, found their visit to be informative, and they appreciated the opportunity to discuss safety issues with you and to observe, first hand, the condition of your vessels. During the visit, your naval architect stated (1) that your vessels do not have the requisite internal volume to add sufficient flotation foam so that the vessel would remain afloat and upright in the event of flooding, and (2) that it was not practical to install watertight bulkheads. You also pointed out that your vessels' engineering systems relied on unobstructed airflow that would be compromised by the installation of bulkheads. Please be aware that at least three operators of DUKW amphibious passenger vessels are modifying their designs to comply with the "stay afloat" criterion specified in the safety recommendation: two using foam and the third using a watertight bulkhead. Additionally, the Board did not limit owners to these two means of providing passive flotation. For example, the term "equivalent measures" used in the recommendation could be achieved by operating in water so shallow that the vessel could not sink if it were holed, thus keeping the passengers and crew above water. One of the underlying premises in asking for "stay afloat" measures is to ensure the survivability of the passengers and crew by preventing them from being trapped in the event of flooding, as occurred with the Miss Majestic. Nevertheless, the Safety Board notes that your February 20, 2001, letter suggests that your Lighter Amphibious Resupply Cargo vessels (LARCs) already incorporate equivalent measures that allow them to comply with our recommendation. Further, your naval architect's letter enclosed with your response stated "LARCs have many features that could be considered equivalent measure to passive flotation." Alternative measures to the "stay afloat" criterion, in the Safety Board's view, would be an arrangement that, with a full complement of passengers and crew wearing personal flotation devices, and without relying on active means such as pumps, would not trap passengers and crew if the vessel should sink. This could be achieved, for example, by a vessel that does not make use of a canopy and has a seating arrangement that does not hinder emergency egress. Please provide a certification from your naval architect that (1) your vessel operates in water so shallow that the vessel could not sink if it were holed, or (2) your vessel is designed to ensure the survivability of the passengers and crew by preventing them from being trapped in the event of flooding as described in the preceding paragraph. In the meantime, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 has been classified "Open-Acceptable Response."

From: Moby Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 2/20/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 02/26/2001 3:39:38 PM MC# 2010164 - From James & Barbara Dominick, Public Access Tours, Inc. Our last communication to you was on November 17, 2000. Included in our Naval Architects detailed response was a formal request for a copy of "the study mentioned in the NTSB recommendation M-00-5, where a naval architect firm...found that it is both practical and cost effective to install watertight bulkheads and built-in floatation material", in a DUKW. We again formally request a copy of that study. As I am sure you are aware, the USCG in January of this year issued NVIC 1-01 relative to amphibious passenger carrying vehicles. The NVIC does not require or even recommend foam or bulkheads! It does however, state specific reservations relative to the implementation of foam or bulkheads. They conclude that "the Coast Guard's approach to the unique design and operational hazards of amphibious vehicles is to require a level of safety equivalent to that required for a vessel of similar size and service". Our "Moby Duck" LARC-V's comply with 100% of the USCG's requirements and 100% of the NVIC's suggestions. Because of your February 27, 2000, classification of us as "Open - Unacceptable Response", a local licensing authority is withholding our permit to operate amphibious passenger tours in 2001. This will cause us considerable and irreparable harm by April, 2001. Would you kindly review: 1. Your naval architect firms report that led to recommendation M-00-5. 2. Your initial recommendation M-00-5 as it pertains to upgraded LARC's. 3. Our correspondences of April 7, 2000 and November 17, 2000 with specific equivalency details from our Naval Architect. 4. Your classification of us on June 27,2000. 5. The USCG NVIC 1-01. Given the USCG's NVIC reliance on "Equivalency" and given the NTSB allowance of "Equivalent Measures", we feel that our LARC's are in compliance with both directives. Please reclassify us in a positive and timely manner.

From: Moby Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 11/17/2000
Response: Please accept the enclosed letter from our naval architects as our formal response to your correspondence of June 27,2000. Please revisit your classification of us as "Open -Unacceptable Response". The following is abstracted from the enclosures written by the Moby Duck's naval architect firm - John W. Gilbert: We have completed another set of calculations with the goal of meeting the National Transportation Safety Board's Safety Recommendation M-00-5, for the installation in your LARCs of a passive means of buoyancy in the event of flooding. In review, Public Access Tours commissioned our firm to study the possibility of adding foam notation to their vessels in December, 1999, in order to provide a passive means of .floatation in the event of flooding- This request was made two months before the NTSB issued their Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Public Access Tours has gone to a great deal of trouble and expense to have our firm analyze the possible installation of a passive floatation system in their vessels, and they started this effort well before the NTSB issued their report. Our analysis has shown that it is not practical to install watertight bulkheads, fixed flotation, or a combination of watertight bulkheads or fixed flotation in their vessels. At this time, we would like to formally request a copy of the study mentioned in NTSB Recommendation M-00-5, where a "naval architect firm ... Found that it is both practical and cost effective to install watertight bulkheads and built-in flotation material" in a DUKW. We would like to find out if this firm took into account the vertical distribution of flotation material and the nature of progressive flooding through the passenger deck. We have found both of these issues to be critical to the success of the installation in the LARC, and suspect the same would be true in the DUKWs. We would also like to point out that Public Access Tours has taken a number of actions to improve the safety of their vessels (in addition to having our firm analyze possible installation of passive buoyancy). These steps include: 1. Improvement of side curtain release system. 2. Installation of electric, independent bilge pumps. 3. Installation of required bilge alarms. 4. Continued carriage of extra crew member. 5. Installation of lighter engines to improve freeboard. Again. we would like to emphasize that the LARCs have many built-in improvements made, compared to the DUKWs, due to the government design effort in the 1960s. This should be considered also, because safety of the LARCs is greater than thc DUKWs to start with.

From: Moby Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 11/3/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 11/06/2000 2:37:23 PM MC# 2001637 - In a communication to you dated November 2, 2000, I neglected to attach documents I obtained from the web site, www.mobyduck.com/, which should have been included in this letter.

From: Moby Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 11/3/2000
Response: -From Joseph A. O’Keefe, Sr., Councillor Ward Seven, City Hall, Salem, Massachusetts: In a communication to you dated November 2, 2000 I neglected to attach documents I obtained from the web site, www.mobyduck.com/, which should have been included in this letter.

From: Moby Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 11/2/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 11/07/2000 12:26:50 PM MC# 2001650 - I am writing to the NTSB for clarification of the above captioned Safety recommendation. I received a copy of the above captioned Safety recommendation on February 23, 2000 and promptly communicated with the company that provides seasonal amphibious passenger vessel service in this city i.e. Moby Duck Tours (Public Access Tours), 75 Essex Street, Gloucester MA 01930, Jim Dominick, President. This company was identified in M-00-5 as a company using amphibious passenger vessels. Attached is a copy of my March 28, 2000 letter to Mr. Dominick. In a prompt reply to me dated April 7, 2000 Mr. Dominick appended a copy of a letter from Mr. Gerald E. Gilligan, Naval Architect, John W. Gilbert Associates, Inc. Naval Architects & Marine Engineers, 199 State Street, BOSTON MA 02109 which stated "the NTSB hastily concluded that the amphibious vessels were operating at a lower level of safety than other small passenger vessels, based on a mistaken belief that all U.S. passenger vessels had positive flotation or met a one-compartment standard of subdivision," further along in this communication Mr. Gilligan stated "We would advise that operators of LARCs not undertake installation of watertight bulkheads or positive flotation until engineering studies are completed showing that it is feasible to provide upright, stable flotation characteristics after flooding". I have attached ML Gilligan's letter and a copy of a letter from Mr. Dominick dated April 7, 2000 indicating Mr. Gilligan's letter was his formal response to the NTSB pursuant to M-00-5. The Salem City Council Committee on Ordinances, Licenses and Legal Affairs has before it an application from Moby Duck Tours (Public Access Tours) to operate in the City of Salem for calendar year 2001. As a member of this committee I do not believe we should act on this application until we have clarification and guidance from the NTSB on M-00-5.

From: NTSB
To: Moby Duck Tours
Date: 6/27/2000
Response: The Safety Board is fully aware of the regulations governing the operation of small passenger vessels and stands by the correctness of its statement that amphibious passenger vessels are the only U.S. Coast Guard inspected vessels that rely upon an active system to ensure their ability to remain afloat in the event of flooding. DUKW's are required by the Coast Guard to carry de-watering pumps of such high pumping capacity that even in the event of a failed boot or a missing 4-inch hull plug, the pumps can keep up with the flooding and prevent the vessel from sinking. While it is true that many other passenger vessels are not required to have watertight bulkheads or fixed flotation, the other vessels are also not required to carry de-watering pumps similar to those required on DUKW's. Other small passenger vessels are required only to carry bilge pumps designed to control incidental flooding. Bilge pumps are not designed to control the massive flooding that the pumps on DUKW's are required to control. The board disagrees with your consultant's assertion that these other small passenger vessels "rely on active means to remain afloat after flooding." your letter states that your consultant believes that lighter amphibious resupply cargo cannot practicably be provided with sufficient reserve buoyancy through either watertight compartmentation or built-in flotation. However, your letter does not indicate that any effort has been expended in investigating possible alternative solutions. The safety board encourages Moby Duck Tours to reconsider the problem of providing adequate reserve buoyancy through passive means to the vessels in its fleet. Because Moby Duck Tours has not implemented the recommendation nor offered any alternative measures, m-00-5 has been classified "open--unacceptable response." the safety board requests that Moby Duck Tours provide the recommended reserve buoyancy as requested.

From: Moby Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 4/7/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 04/17/2000 4:26:27 PM MC# 2000546 1. Please accept the enclosed letter from our naval architects as our formal response to your correspondence of 2-18-00: (John W. Gilbert Assocs. On behalf of Moby Ducks, wrote): It is our opinion, based on over 35 years of experience designing U. S. Coast Guard certified passenger vessels, that the NTSB has rushed their recommendations out to the industry without proper consideration of the different types of amphibians in operations, the practicality of installation of the recommendations, and even the possible conflicts of their recommendations with existing safety regulations. The U. S. Coast Guard determined in their Marine Board of Investigation Report that the World War 11 era-built DUKW "Miss Majestic" sank in Arkansas in May, 1999 due to a specific flaw in the vessel's drive shaft sealing system. Contributing to the sinking and loss of life was the failure of the vessel's main bilge pump, distraction of the vessel operator by tour-guide duties, lack of required bilge-level alarms, lack of positive flotation or watertight bulkheads, and entrapment of the passengers under the awning and windshield after the vessel sank. The U. S. Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation produced a 13 item list of recommendations dealing with improvements to the DUKW'S, modification to inspection procedures, requirements for further crew training, possible requirement for an additional crew member, and possible requirements for new regulations governing awnings on small passenger vessels. The NTSB has recommended in their February 18 letter that all passenger-carrying amphibious vessels be fitted with watertight bulkheads or built-in flotation "without delay." The NTSB, in their report claims that "no other U. S. Coast Guard inspected vessels rely upon an active system to ensure their ability to remain afloat in the event of flooding". THIS STATEMENT IS NOT TRUE, AND HAS UNDOUBTEDLY LED TO THE NTSB'S RECOMMENDATIONS. In fact, watertight bulkheads are not required on my U. S. Coast Guard inspected passenger vessel less than sixty-five feet long and carrying 49 or fewer passengers in U. S. waters. This regulation is contained in the U. S. Code of Federal Regulations, Title 46, Subchapter T. There are literally thousands of U. S. flag passenger vessels less than sixty-five feet carrying 49 or fewer passengers that do not have watertight bulkheads or fixed flotation. All of these vessels rely on active means to remain afloat after flooding, despite the NTSB's letter. In any case, watertight bulkheads would not be effective in a DUKW, LARC or other small passenger vessels unless the bulkheads were spaced such that flooding in one compartment would not sink the vessel down to its deck edge. Once a vessel's deck is immersed, stability is quickly lost, and capsizing would occur. At the present time, the NTSB has not released its full report or the report prepared by the "recognized naval architectural firm" which apparently concluded that addition of watertight bulkheads and foam flotation to the DUKW was "practical and cost-effective." We have conducted preliminary studies involving the installation of watertight bulkheads or foam in the "Moby Duck" LARCS. In order to float the vessel, passengers, crew, and fuel, the LARC would need 392 cubic feet of foam to be installed in the hull. Our calculations show that there is room for only 290 cubic feet of foam in the vessel, and this assumes a very high fill ratio, which might not be possible due to the presence of structure and machinery in the hull space. Additionally, the 392 cubic feet of foam would add approximately 600 pounds to the displacement of the vessel, equal to the weight of four persons and costing one-half inch of freeboard by itself. The Coast Guard generally discourages the use of foam for flotation in passenger vessels, in any case. The regulations do allow the use of foam, but its approval is done on a case-by-case basis. Foam installed in passenger vessels is required to pass flammability test requirements if installed in spaces with possible sources of ignition. Foam is at best flame-retardant, and at worst highly flammable. All foams used for flotation will bum to some extent, and will emit heavy smoke and gases when burning. The NTSB's recommendation to install foam in a gasoline-powered DUKW seems to be questionable. Since the LARCs are diesel powered, this would be slightly less of a problem, but would defeat some of the advantage the LARCs have over the DUKWs lower risk of a fire. Installation of foam in a DUKW or LARC also presents another problem not addressed by the NTSB's recommendations. The foam installation would block access to the structure and shell plating of either vessel. It is important, especially for DUKWs to have access to the shell plating for inspections of the structure. The shell plating of DUWKs is very thin sheet steel, and has had problems with wastage over the 55 years they have been in service. The LARCS, on the other hand are manufactured of corrosion-resistant welded aluminum, but it is still not recommended practice to block access to the structural frames and shell plating. Improper distribution of positive flotation in a vessel can also lead to transverse or longitudinal capsize after flooding. The flotation must be arranged to float the vessel upright and to provide sufficient stability to allow the vessel to be evacuated or await rescue by other craft. Prior to the installation of flotation, a stability study should be conducted to ensure satisfactory stability characteristics after flooding. Our preliminary analysis of the installation of watertight bulkheads in the LARC does not look promising. The vessel would need four watertight bulkheads, one of which would need to go right through the center of the main engine, in order to meet the requirements for a one compartment standard of flooding. We do not see any advantage to the installation of bulkheads unless they would allow the vessel to meet the one-compartment standard. Once a vessel suffers deck immersion from flooding, sinking or capsizing is inevitable. We cannot do an analysis of watertight bulkheads in the DUKWs due to our lack of access to plans, but it does not seem likely that it would result in a better outcome than the LARCS, since they tend to have slightly less freeboard and less reserve buoyancy. The NTSB recommendations, in our opinion, have been applied hastily to all types of passenger carrying amphibious vessels without due consideration to the differences between the various types, particularly between the DUKWs and LARCS. The DUKWs were created at the height of World War II using a standard GM truck enclosed in a watertight shell of thin sheet steel. Due to the time constraints and wartime pressures, the DUKWs had to be manufactured using available parts. The LARCS, on the other hand, were designed from the ground up to be true amphibians, and extensive design and testing was done by the Army Materiel Command to develop the best possible vessel. The LARCs were manufactured specifically to replace the DUKWS, and were designed to be more mechanically reliable, more stable, capable of carrying heavier cargoes, and be resistant to corrosion in a marine environment. It should be noted that the LARCs were rated by the Army for the carriage of I 0,000 pounds of cargo, versus a rating of 5,000 pounds for the DUKWS. As passenger vessels, the DUKWs are usually certified to carry 30 passengers, each assumed to weight 140 pounds, for a total of 4,200 pounds. The Moby Duck LARCs were tested by our office-with a load of 30 persons weighing 165 pounds each, for a total of 4,950 pounds. Therefore, while the DUKWs are pushed fairly close to the Army limits, the LARCs are well below their rated limits. The Arkansas DUKW was equipped with four bilge pumps, one of which was chain driven by the main engine. When the Arkansas accident happened, the engine-driven pump was inoperative, due to a broken key in the pump shaft. The three electric bilge pumps together were capable of pumping 34 gallons per minute at the most. The Moby Duck LARCs have been re-equipped with three electric bilge pumps each capable of pumping 62 gallons per minute, for a total of 186 gallons per minute. The pumps operate independently of the main engine and have capacities far in excess of the 20 gallons per minute required by the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard determined in their investigation that the windshield and side curtains, along with the awning and support structure trapped many of the passengers on the Arkansas DUKW when it sank. The Arkansas DUKW, in particular, had extensive side curtains and awning extending from the windshield all the way to the stem. In addition, vertical supports for the awning left spaces of only 24 inches by 36 inches for escape along the sides of the vessel. The DUKWs normal escape route is aft, over the raised deck via a ladder, and then over the stem via another ladder. The Moby Duck LARCs are fitted with vinyl side curtains, but they have been redesigned this year to attach only with Velcro, on the outside of all supports and can be pushed out from inside the vessel easily. The awning supports have clear openings of 60 inches by 40 inches, providing easy escape. There is also no windshield fitted on the Moby Duck LARCS. The normal escape route is through a gate in the side of the bulwark, right in the passenger seating area. The Coast Guard determined that the operator of the Arkansas Duck was distracted from her duties by the requirement to be a tour guide as well as a vessel operator. The Coast Guard felt that if a second crew member had been on the vessel when it started to take on water, that the discharge from the aft bilge pumps would have been noticed and some action could have been taken to abandon the vessel or move it into shallow water before it sank. THE MOBY DUCK LARCS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN OPERATED WITH TWO CREW MEMBERS ABOARD, ALTHOUGH COAST GUARD REQUIREMENTS ONLY CALL FOR ONE CREW MEMBER. The driver/captain operates the vessel, and the second crew member acts as the tour guide. This arrangement provides a margin of safety beyond the usual DUKW operation. A major finding from the Coast Guard investigation of the Arkansas DUKW sinking was that required high level bilge alarms had not been installed in the vessel. This requirement was added to the passenger vessel regulations, to be complied with prior to March 11, 1999. Had the bilge alarms been installed, the Coast Guard believed that the vessel would have had time to turn around and make it back to the shore before sinking. Moby Duck LARCs are all equipped with the required bilge alarms, and were before the March, 1999 deadline. In conclusion, we believe that the NTSB hastily concluded that the amphibious vessels were operating at a lower level of safety than other small passenger vessels, based on a mistaken belief that all U. S. passenger vessels had positive flotation or met a one-compartment standard of subdivision. While the accident in Arkansas may point out a need for a change in the regulations for all small passenger vessels, the NTSB's narrow focus on one solution to the problem ignores other safety issues and unfairly targets one position of the small passenger vessel industry. We would advise that operators of LARCs not undertake installation of watertight bulkheads or positive flotation until final engineering studies are completed showing that it is feasible to provide upright, stable flotation characteristics after flooding. We also believe that the normal rule making procedure be followed by the Coast Guard, so that all portions of the industry have a chance to comment on proposed regulations, and so that new regulations do not conflict with other existing regulations.

From: NTSB
To: Chicago DUKW Corporation
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Chicago DUKW Corporation
Date: 8/6/2002
Response: On June 5, 2000, as owner of both Chicago Duck Corporation and Metro Ducks, you responded to the Safety Board regarding Safety Recommendation M-00-5, indicating concerns regarding the engineering effort required to satisfy the recommendation and appropriately noting the need for maintenance and operator training for these vessels. In our August 17, 2000, response, the Board agreed that proper maintenance and operator training are important to DUKW safety and indicated that all these issues would be addressed in the Board's final report. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. For your consideration, we have enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations. Although the Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, we have issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. We have deferred further evaluation of your and other operators' response to M-00-5 until after the Board receives and evaluates the Coast Guard's response to the new recommendation. In the interim, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: Chicago DUKW Corporation
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: The Safety Board appreciates your sincere interest in this recommendation, and while our feasibility study leads us to believe it will be effective, we also understand that it will require a substantial engineering effort to accomplish. Our contracted engineering assessment presented at our public forum in December of 1999 was a feasibility study, and was not meant to provide engineering specifications for the modification of a DUKW. Unlike the U.S. Coast Guard and other regulatory agencies that specify and approve changes to equipment, the safety board only makes recommendations, and the operators and other appropriate parties must decide their implementation. Because meeting the performance criteria in our recommendation involves retrofitting existing vessels and dealing with their complex hull arrangements, there is a real engineering challenge anticipated on the part of each owner. The safety board believes that owners should have the needed flexibility and latitude to modify their vessels to meet the board's recommendation. Other owners have been corresponding with us and have taken up this challenge. One of the primary purposes of public forum was to bring together the owners and operators not only to hear their views, but also to provide an opportunity for them to network and perhaps cooperate on such challenges. The safety board's recommendation is performance based. It would be inappropriate for the safety board to require detailed prescriptive specifications on how owners should modify their vessels. The goal is to make these vessels able to withstand flooding in order to prevent recurrence of an accident similar to the one in Arkansas where 13 lives were lost. The board agrees that proper maintenance and operator training are also important to DUKW safety. These issues will be addressed in the safety board's final report, which will also address the probable cause of the accident. The reserve buoyancy recommendation was issued in advance of the final accident report because the board believed that immediate action was necessary to avoid additional loss of life. The board continues to believe that m-00-5 is viable, and we urge the Chicago Ducks Corporation and Metro Ducks to pursue its implementation. Pending further response, M-00-5 has been classified OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: Chicago DUKW Corporation
To: NTSB
Date: 6/5/2000
Response: Please be advised that Chicago Ducks Corp. Is the parent company for Metro Ducks. This reply should be considered to be the response from both companies. The addition of water tight bulkheads as indicated requires the front bulkhead to be located just behind the front wheel wells in order to be effective. This would place the bulkhead in a position where the engine block would be passing through it. The engine is mounted on rubber mounts that allow it to flex under various load conditions. Also the engine itself is not a watertight. There is no current technology that we are aware of which would accomplish this. Bulkheads would also restrict the airflow that the DUKW relies on to cool the engine. Engine cooling is a problem already. Restricting even more airflow would cause higher under hood temperatures and overheating problems. Many operators run with the hoods slightly open to provide additional cooling. We feel that operating with the hoods open is an unsafe practice. It can cause the DUKW to be swamped if it encounters a wave or wake from another boat. It also reduces the effectiveness of the fire fighting system. Even in cases where quick release closing devices are installed, it still requires the attention of the operator and in certain instances may not be accomplished. The addition of floatation foam would also cause many problems. It to would add restricting the airflow as mentioned above. It would also make it impossible to perform regular maintenance on the drive train. The DUKW has a steel hull, if foam were installed the inside could not be properly inspected for corrosion. Also hull repairs could only be accomplished from the outside. The existing hull can be cleaned thoroughly if gasoline or oil happens to leak or spill. If foam were present it would trap the flammable liquids presenting a fire hazard. In order for foam to be effective and not just float out when being submerged, additional structure support would be required. This would also stiffen the hull, which must flex when in the water and especially on land. Other issues of concern would be how the additional supports and foam would affect the DUKWs ability to not injure its occupants in a crash on land. It is our belief the current re--construction and equipping of the amphibious passenger vessels is not the major issue concerning amphibious passenger vessel safely. We believe continued oversight and inclusion of new methods and technologies are important. We further believe that emphasis must be placed on prevention and preparedness through people. The operation of an amphibious passenger vessel is unique. The standardization and continued of training for the operators and/or crews of amphibious passenger vessels are a vital key in the safe operation of an amphibious passenger vessel. In addition any modifications which would enhance the DUKWs safety on water must also be carefully researched to see how they would impact the overall safety of the DUKW on land, and also allow proper maintenance. Many DUKW's operate in waters only five to twelve feet deep, with an average depth of six feet. The DUKW is 12 feet high at the top of the canopy. It would seem that in these waters it is unlikely for a DUKW to sink. According to the Coast Guards investigation the causes of the Miss Majestic accident were mostly caused by improper maintenance. Specifically several critical components left uninstalled. When critical components are missing one can not be surprised when the vessel sinks. Your recommendation although made with good intent seems unpractical for this application. We are somewhat surprised that no mention was made as to what actually caused the accident. Which would be to require training for personnel working on the vessels. As it stands now, anyone with no mechanical or marine training may work on these vessels without anyone else being required to inspect or test their work. If you allow someone with no or limited knowledge to work on these vessels you can not hold them accountable for any mistakes that they make. Many DUKW operators are under the belief that any truck or boat mechanic can repair DUKW's. Because of the uniqueness of these vehicles this is not true. Some operators do not have any of their own mechanics and have them serviced at a truck repair shop. A result of this is to have it serviced by the lowest bidder. Just because a boat is unsinkable does not mean that you will avoid loss of life in an accident. I believe that there is a case on file where an unsinkable boat operated by the coast guard was swamped and several people died. We would like to have seen the recommendation include something that would prevent a future accident instead of allowing another accident to happen and trying to minimize the losses.

From: NTSB
To: Chicago Duck Tours/ Chicago Trolley Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Chicago Duck Tours/ Chicago Trolley Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Chicago Duck Tours, "Open-Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Chicago Duck Tours/ Chicago Trolley Tours
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Buffalo Point
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Buffalo Point
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Buffalo Point, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Buffalo Point
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: DUCKS Amphibious Renovations and Sales
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: DUCKS Amphibious Renovations and Sales
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including DUCKS Amphibious Renovations, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: DUCKS Amphibious Renovations and Sales
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Cool Stuff Tours C.A.M.I., LLC
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: The Safety Board understands from visits to your company that Cool Stuff has built and operates only one type of amphibious vessel, the Hydra-Terra, designed especially for commercial passenger service. This vessel’s aluminum hull has foam-filled compartments that provide sufficient flotation, certified by the manufacturer to remain afloat even with the drain plugs removed and the engine compartment flooded. Further, the Coast Guard has approved the Hydra-Terra for the carriage of up to 49 passengers and a 2-person crew. Because Cool Stuff operates vessels that provide reserve buoyancy through passive means, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Action.

From: NTSB
To: Cool Stuff Tours C.A.M.I., LLC
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Plymouth Amphibious Tours (Splashdown Tours)
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APV s. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 1-01 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APV s. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ALTERNATE ACTION. Thank you for your continued commitment to marine safety.

From: NTSB
To: Plymouth Amphibious Tours (Splashdown Tours)
Date: 8/6/2002
Response: Although the Safety Board is pleased that Plymouth has made an effort to improve the safety of its vessels, the Board is not convinced that the boot seal ring and/or the electrical pumps described in your letter are sufficient to prevent the rapid sinking of amphibious passenger boats for other foreseeable scenarios of hull damage such as broken welds or holes in the hull. Passive measures to provide reserve buoyancy, such as those listed in Safety Recommendation M-00-5, are essential for optimum passenger safety. As you know, the rapid sinking of the Miss Majestic did not allow sufficient time for most of the boat's passengers to escape; 13 of the 20 passengers, including 3 children, were killed. Since that accident, another amphibious passenger vessel named the Minnow (an Alvis Stalwart) sank on September 18, 2000, on Lake Michigan near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Its investigation of this accident convinced the Safety Board that amphibious passenger vessels must have reserve buoyancy measures to prevent their rapid sinking. The Board encourages Plymouth to investigate ways of implementing passive safety systems on its vessels. Please be aware that at least three operators of amphibious passenger vessels are modifying their designs to comply with the "stay afloat" criterion specified in the safety recommendation, two using foam and one using a watertight bulkhead. Additionally, "equivalent measures" could be achieved by operating in water so shallow that the vessel could not sink if it were holed, thus keeping the passengers and crew above water. One of the underlying principles of "stay afloat" measures is to ensure without relying on active means such as pumps, the survivability of the passengers and crew by preventing them from being trapped in the event of flooding, as occurred with the Miss Majestic. This could be achieved, for example, by eliminating the use of a canopy and providing a seating arrangement that does not hinder emergency egress. The Safety Board notes that your November 13, 2000, letter suggests that your amphibious passenger vessels already incorporate equivalent measures that allow them to comply with our recommendation. Please provide certification from you or your naval architect that your vessels either (1) operate in water so shallow that they could not sink if they were holed or (2) are designed to ensure the survivability of the passengers and crew by preventing them from being trapped in the event of flooding. Pending receipt and review of this information, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response." Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Plymouth Amphibious Tours (Splashdown Tours)
Date: 8/2/2002
Response: Plymouth Surfside responded to the Safety Board on November 13, 2000. I apologize that the Board has not yet formally responded to your letter. For your information, on April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. A copy of the Board’s findings and recommendations is enclosed for your review. The Board is currently reviewing your November 13, 2000, letter based on these findings and recommendations and will provide you with a detailed response to that letter in the near future. Thank you for your patience and, again, I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

From: Plymouth Amphibious Tours (Splashdown Tours)
To: NTSB
Date: 11/13/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 11/17/2000 1:46:36 PM MC# 2001709 Plymouth Surfside Inc., d/b/a Splashdown Amphibious Tours, of Plymouth, MA has taken action to alter their amphibious passenger vessels. These vessels are now dewatered much faster and downflooding is under more control with the approval of the U.S. Coast Guard, Boston, MA MS0 and Washington, MSC. According to a United States Naval Architect computer model, downflooding of the stern will occur in 5.63 minutes with 19 passengers on board and 4.45 minutes with a full compliment of 33 passengers. Splashdown Tours' vessel compliments is 28 persons allowing more time than 4.45 minutes before downflooding occurs. In the event of the driveshaft boot seal failure causing uncontrollable flooding, the primary dewatering pump, the Higgins Pump, is capable of discharging water out of the vessel at a rate of 250 gallons per minute. This allows the operator more time to the vehicle out of the water or at the very least, beach the vessel before it sinks. In the event of a boot seal failure and the incapacitation of the Higgins Pump, additional electric pumps have been installed in the bilge area of the vessel. With the original U.S. Coast Guard inspected pumps as well as the additional pumps installed in the spring of 2000, we have an average dewatering capability of 205 gallons per minute with the electric pumps. On March 15, 2000, Splashdown Tours submitted a boot seal ring modification to the U.S. Coast Guard Boston, MA MS0 and Washington MSC. Boston MS0 approved the modification and Splashdown Tours implemented the modification immediately. The modification controls and slows the downflooding of the vessel by restricting the flow of Water into the vehicle. The modification is as follows: A. 12 original 1 1/4)' fine thread ring studs replaced with 12 stainless steel 1 1/2)) fine thread bolts welded to the ring. B. Bolts extend through metal ring, boot seal flange, rubber diaphragm membrane and hull. C. 5 ply, rubber diaphragm membrane, approximately 24" thickness, cut to the outside diameter dimensions of the boot seal ring. D. An elongated hole cut out of the rubber membrane to allow the drive&aft with universal joints to pass through the membrane. E. In case of boot seal or tube failure, rubber membrane will slow the flow of water into the vessel. Enclosed, please find diagram of the Ring Modification and the DUKW bilge pump and high water alarm diagram.

From: NTSB
To: Plymouth Amphibious Tours (Splashdown Tours)
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Naples Land and Sea Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Naples Land and Sea Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Naples Land and Sea Tours, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Naples Land and Sea Tours
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Austin Duck Adventures
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Austin Duck Adventures
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Austin Ducks, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Austin Duck Adventures
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: DC Ducks - Old Town Trolley Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: DC Ducks - Old Town Trolley Tours
Date: 5/6/2003
Response: The Safety Board notes the various safety improvements that DC Ducks has made since May 1999 in addressing this recommendation and other safety needs. The Board issued a similar recommendation, Safety Recommendation M-02-2, stated below, to the U.S. Coast Guard in conjunction with our completed report on the investigation into the Miss Majestic accident. M-02-2 Until such time that owners provide sufficient reserve buoyancy in their amphibious passenger vehicles so that they will remain upright and afloat in a fully flooded condition (by M-02-1), require the following: 1. removal of canopies for waterborne operations or installation of a Coast Guard-approved canopy that does not restrict either horizontal or vertical escape by passengers in the event of sinking, 2. reengineering of each amphibious vehicle to permanently close all unnecessary access plugs and to reduce all necessary through-hull penetrations to the minimum size necessary for operation, 3. installation of independently powered electric bilge pumps that are capable of dewatering the craft at the volume of the largest remaining penetration to supplement either an operable Higgins pump or a dewatering pump of equivalent or greater capacity, 4. installation of four independently powered bilge alarms, 5. inspection of the vehicle in water after each time a through-hull penetration has been removed or uncovered, 6. verification of a vehicle's watertight condition in the water at the outset of each waterborne departure, and 7. compliance with all remaining provisions of Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-01. The Safety Board has asked the Coast Guard to certify that each operating company is in compliance with the seven provisions of Safety Recommendation M-02-2. When the Coast Guard has provided such certification, we will complete our evaluation of Safety Recommendation M-00-5 for DC Ducks. In the interim, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified "Open--Acceptable Response," pending receipt of this certification from the Coast Guard.

From: DC Ducks - Old Town Trolley Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 7/31/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 08/07/2002 11:59:38 AM MC# 2020754 This letter will serve as DC Ducks' response to your July 8,2002 letter to Mr. Cohen. Your July 8, 2002 letter enclosed with it, an April 2, 2002 Synopsis of Final Report ("Synopsis"), for the May 1, 1999 Miss Majestic, accident (NTSB-MAR-02101) in Arkansas. The Synopsis, along with your July 8,2002 letter, contain Safety Recommendation M-00-5 which basically recommends that DC Ducks' amphibious vehicles be retrofitted to make them virtually "sink proof." While the DC Ducks have been attempting to, and will continue to endeavor to, implement this Safety Recommendation, candidly, DC Ducks' operational folks do not believe that implementation of this Safety Recommendation is at all feasible. However, the Synopsis outlines seven "interim recommendations" of the NTSB. Below, please find an outline of DC Ducks' progress in the implementation of these seven NTSB interim recommendations: 1. Removal of Canopies or installation of a Coast Guard approved canopy. DC Ducks' canopies are United States Coast Guard ("USCG") approved. USCG Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-O 1 (hereafter referred to as NVIC) was issued by the USCG after the Miss Majestic accident. NVIC stipulated a minimum egress opening of 24 inches between the bulkhead and the canopy. All DC Ducks' vehicles exceed this requirement. USCG has inspected all DC Ducks and found them in compliance with all specifications of the NVIC. 2. Reengineering of vehicle to permanently close all unnecessary access plugs and reduce all necessary through hull penetrations to the minimum size necessary for operation. DC Ducks asserts that all plugs found on its vessels are necessary. The largest through hull opening is the driveshaft tube. This 5 inch opening has been reduced to 2 % inches through the installation of a restrictor plate, which has been approved by the USCG. This was not required under the guidelines of the NVTC; rather, DC Ducks did this on its own. 3. Installation of independently powered electrical bilge pumps. DC Ducks has long had such pumps installed. DC Ducks exceeds all pumping capacity requirements and has demonstrated such to the satisfaction of the USCG, and the NTSB. Since the Spring of 2001, all DC Ducks' vehicles have redundant pumping capacity via the fully operational Higgins Pump. 4. Installation of four independently powered bilge alarms. DC Ducks' vessels have had four independently powered bilge alarms since 1998, possibly earlier. 5. Inspection of vessel in water each time a through hull penetration has been removed or uncovered. DC Ducks' standard procedure has always been to inspect water tight integrity prior to passenger boarding. This became required by the USCG shortly after the Miss Majestic incident in 1999. 6. Verification of Water Tight condition prior to the outset of each waterborne departure. DC Ducks performs pre-trip inspections of each vessel including condition of any hull penetrations and hull condition in general. This is done twice daily for each vessel in operation that day. 7. Compliance with all remaining provisions of NVIC. DC Ducks' vehicles are regularly inspected by the USCG for compliance, and DC Ducks' continuing operation is dependant upon passage of such inspections. The NVIC required several changes, not the least of which was to raise the amount of freeboard at the stern of each vessel to a minimum of 17 inches. DC Ducks' vessels exceed this stem freeboard. In short, DC Ducks is in compliance with all provisions of the NV Please note that the DC Ducks is committed to safety. The DC Ducks follows all regulations promulgated by the Coast Guard and implements all Coast Guard required standards. Thank you very much for your time and consideration. If DC Ducks can lend any further information to you or your Board, please do not hesitate to contact either me or Mr. Cohen (202-832-9800).

From: NTSB
To: DC Ducks - Old Town Trolley Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including DC Duck Tours, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: DC Ducks - Old Town Trolley Tours
Date: 6/1/2000
Response: Mr. Scales reports that DC Ducks is committed to marine safety, but has not provided any information on what action has been taken by dc ducks to implement this recommendation. Accordingly, pending a further response explaining what action has been taken to implement the recommendation, M-00-5 will remain OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: DC Ducks - Old Town Trolley Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 4/25/2000
Response: Letter mail controlled 04/28/2000 2:39:48 pm mc# 2000583 By way of introduction my name is Ed Scales and I am the general counsel/vice president of Historic Tours of America, Inc. (HTA) the parent company of Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington, DC, Inc. D/B/A DC Duck Tours ("DC Ducks"). DC Duck's general manager, David Cohen, has forwarded to me a copy of the above-referenced safety recommendation (M-00-5). Please be aware that DC Ducks is committed to its operating its DUKW vehicles in such a way as to follow, and, in some cases, to exceed, each and every applicable regulation and requirement of the United States Coast Guard (USCG) as applied by the Washington, DC safety office of USCG. Our company's motto is "Safety first, courtesy a close second." for DC Ducks this is not just a slogan, but a way of life. Our dc duck vessels are annually inspected by the USCG's Washington, DC safety office and no vessel operates without a valid certificate of inspection issued by the USCG. It was DC Ducks' privilege to assist the NTSB in their investigation of the Miss Majestic tragedy in Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas. If DC Ducks can assist your Board in any way in the future, please do not hesitate to contact us.

From: NTSB
To: Just Ducky Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Just Ducky Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Just Ducky, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Just Ducky Tours
Date: 6/27/2000
Response: The Safety Board understands that just ducky is working on its own and with the U.S. Coast Guard to identify and remedy any risks regarding the flooding of its amphibious passenger vessels. The Safety Board encourages Just Ducky to expedite this action and to implement M-00-5. Pending further response from Just Ducky, M-00-5 will remain classified OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. Should you wish to discuss this issue, my marine staff can be contacted at 202-314-6450.

From: Just Ducky Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 5/30/2000
Response: We appreciate the interest improvements to amp and concern that the Board has in assisting companies like just Ducky Tours with the safe operations of amphibious passenger vessels. We are also vitally concerned about the tragic sinking of the Miss Majestic on 5/1/99, in Lake Hamilton. A few days after hearing of the accident, we voluntarily shut down the passenger operations of Just Ducky Tours and arranged for the Coast Guard to conduct a safety inspection of our vehicles. In order to address the safety issues that this accident has raised, we have contacted the U.S. Coast Guard to inquire as to what its position is for purposes of identifying and remedying any risks regarding the flooding of our amphibious passenger vessels. As of yet, the Coast Guard has not promulgated any recommendations with regard to any remedial action that should be taken. Since the seaworthiness of the two DUKW's that we own and operate must be certified and approved by the coast guard each year, we intend to implement the Coast Guard's recommendations for how these types of vessels should be modified to reduce the risk of the vessels flooding and sinking rapidly. In addition, we are in the process of undertaking our own investigation to determine what steps other vessel operators have taken, or plan to take, to address this issue. For instance, we have learned that one DUKW operator has hired an independent consultant to study the problem and make recommendations. When the study is complete, we intend to contact this operator to request information about the consultant's recommendations. We would appreciate the board keeping Just Ducky Tours on its mailing list and advising us of any other safety issues or concerns with respect to amphibious passenger vessels.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks International, LLC
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks International, LLC
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Board had previously classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 "Open--Acceptable Response" to your company because you had responded that your company was working to implement the recommendation. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. We would appreciate an update on what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations. Thank you for your attention to this matter; we look forward to hearing from you on this safety issue.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks International, LLC
Date: 8/16/2000
Response: The Safety Board appreciates your sincere interest in this recommendation, and while our feasibility study leads us to believe it will be effective, we also understand that it will require a substantial engineering effort to accomplish. The contracted engineering assessment we presented at our public forum in December 1999 was a feasibility study, and was not meant to provide engineering specifications for the modification of a DUKW. Unlike the U.S. Coast Guard and other regulatory agencies that specify and approve changes to equipment, the Safety Board only makes recommendations, and the operators and other appropriate parties develop specifications for implementation. Because meeting the performance criteria in our recommendation involves retrofitting existing vessels and dealing with various hull arrangements, a real engineering challenge is anticipated. The Safety Board believes that owners should have the needed flexibility and latitude to modify their vessels to meet the board's recommendation. Other owners have been corresponding with us and have taken up this challenge. One of the primary purposes of our public forum was to bring together the owners and operators not only to hear views, but also to provide an opportunity for them to network and perhaps cooperate on such challenges. The Safety Board's recommendation is performance based and allows for implementation of measures leading to an equivalent level of safety. It would be inappropriate for the board to require detailed prescriptive specifications of owners regarding how they should modify their vessels. The board's goal is to make these vessels able to withstand flooding in order to prevent recurrence of an accident similar to the one in Arkansas where 13 lives were lost. The board agrees that proper maintenance and operator training are also important to DUKW safety. These issues will be addressed in the safety board's final report, which will also address the probable cause of the Arkansas accident. The reserve buoyancy recommendation was issued in advance of the final accident report of the Miss Majestic accident because the Board believed that immediate action was necessary to avoid additional loss of life. The board continues to believe that M-00-5 is viable, and we urge ride the ducks to pursue its implementation. Pending further response, M-00-5 has been classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Ride the Ducks International, LLC
To: NTSB
Date: 6/26/2000
Response: Letter mail controlled 07/05/2000 12:39:20 pm mc# 2000841 It appears that there were inappropriate assumptions made in the evaluation supporting this recommendation. The presentation by Mr. Jack Ringelberg in Memphis at the passenger vessel safety forum in December 1999, was the result of a static flotation study which had given limited consideration to the operational requirements of the various systems inside the DUKW. Mr. Ringelberg made this limitation very clear in his presentation. He also emphasized the need to evaluate the feasibility of passive floatation, with the help of current duck operators. Our associate with Boston Duck Tours, Andrew Wilson, retained Mr. Ringelberg immediately after the session in Memphis to evaluate the practical feasibility of positive floatation for the configuration of the duck utilized in that market. Many unforeseen obstacles to implementation were discovered during this process. Even before the Memphis forum, my company in Branson had spent considerable time researching this issue independently, as well as engaging an outside firm (Design Associates, New Orleans, LA) to evaluate the feasibility of a positive floatation system for our new duck design. Our independent review, along with the ongoing evaluation by design associates to date, has helped us understand some of the significant complexities of implementing passive floatation. Apparently this is not a new idea, nor one that is easily solved. We have also learned of attempts to introduce compartmentalization by Sparkman and Stephens during the development of the original DUKW, through research at the National Archives in Washington, DC. In an attempt to better understand the basis of your potential recommendation, i requested a copy of the study presented by Jack Ringelberg at the Memphis forum, and was told it was not available. Shortly after receiving M-00-5, I asked for a copy of the study that led to the recommendation again. I was told that I would not be able to have it until it was modified, and that would take two weeks. I had still not received it by the requested deadline for a response to M-00-5. Finally I was able to review a copy of the study, when Mr. Hammersmidt provided me with a copy during his visit to our operation on 5/19/00. When your recommendation was issued to the media in February, it placed us in a very difficult situation. We were asked to respond to the need for and practical application of a positive floatation system for our ducks. I was asked many questions that I simply could not answer, given the lack of available information. Now with knowledge of that study, as well as our own research both in-house and with outside experts, I feel I have a better understanding of the challenge we face regarding your recommendation. To simplify the analysis of the positive floatation problem, start by placing a fully loaded duck in the water. Now draw a line on the hull at the water level all around the vessel. The cubic inches of displacement created by the weight of the vessel below this line, is approximately what needs to be replaced with foam or compartmentalization to keep the duck afloat at a similar level. Additional consideration is necessary for the increased weight due to the foam and/or compartmentalization that is added to the vessel. In addition, the foam or compartmentalization needs to be distributed in the same manner as the originally displaced area, in order for the vessel to have a similar trim. Therefore, all of the areas that can not be compartmentalized below the water line-due to ventilation requirements, machinery spaces, etc.-need to be replaced by compartments above the line. Spaces to accommodate these areas, are not readily available and are difficult to come by. Unfortunately, the passengers compartment floor is located at or about this water line and, for all practical purposes, is the full width of the vessel. This makes it impractical to generate additional compartment opportunities for displacement by the duck going down further in the water. This problem is compounded by the limits of the 8 ft. 6 in. Maximum beam available to the duck due to legal road requirements. The addition of rear floatation sponsons has been suggested, but allowances for clearance as the duck enters the water, need to be considered. Additional rear suspension weight and maneuverability on land, with the additional swing of the extension, will also need to be considered. We have a potential solution that we are pursuing at this time. It will require considerable feasibility evaluation, and thus expense. We hope to make a determination regarding this concept by the year-end. We will continue to look for practical ways to fulfill your recommendation for passive floatation, but at this point, we have not been successful in discovering a practical solution. Some of my comments at the Memphis forum, appeared to be in conflict with Mr. Ringelberg regarding the use of foam for our application. The source to support my comments is enclosed. The report titled "floatation foam" by Bruce Pfund, technical editor for professional boatbuilder magazine, includes information regarding the foam's retention of water over time and its effect. In its use in fiberglass boats, foam poses a problem due to the additional weight gains, degraded floatation ability, and reduced structural integrity. On the ducks, because of the gauge of material used, when the foam becomes saturated the resulting water retention and corrosion would significantly limit the useful life of the hull. We recommend the coast guard for the practical approach used to address the problems the operators in our industry are facing and how best to solve them. The draft NVIC is reflective of the input from all of the participants held in Washington by the marine safety center of the coast guard. In contrast, i was disappointed that none of the input from any of the operators or the coast guard was reflected in m-00-5 as a result of the Memphis forum. If you review all of the contributing factors from the accident, and attempt to remedy them individually, you have an opportunity to significantly reduce the risk of the incident from ever occurring again. That is what we are in the process of doeing at Ride the Ducks. We are working on the items that were identified as the primary areas of concern with the coast guard, while generating input for the draft NVIC. Once again, thank you for the opportunity to provide input regarding M-00-5.

From: NTSB
To: Outfitters Kauai
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Outfitters Kauai
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Outfitters Kauai, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Outfitters Kauai
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks of Seattle
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks of Seattle
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Ride the Ducks of Seattle, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks of Seattle
Date: 11/20/2000
Response: On 8/16/00, the Safety Board classified M-00-5 to the Ride the Ducks of Branson, MO, "Open--Acceptable Response," based on information provided in Mr. Robert McDowell's 6/26/00, letter. The Safety Board understands that Ride the Ducks of Seattle does not own its vehicles, but leases them from Ride the Ducks of Branson. The Safety Board believes, as the operator of the vessels, you should be intimately aware of any safety modifications to them and requests that you provide information describing the specific modifications made to the vessels you are leasing from Ride the Ducks of Branson. We are particularly interested in any modifications that may directly relate to M-00-5. Pending our receipt of this additional information, M-00-5 to Ride the Ducks of Seattle is classified OPEN—AWAIT RESPONSE. The Safety Board stresses to you the importance of providing reserve buoyancy through passive means in addition to the measures you have already taken. Given the 9/18/00, sinking of an Alvis Stalwart amphibious passenger vessel on Lake Michigan, near Milwaukee, WI, the Safety Board is more convinced than ever that action to provide reserve buoyancy for these types of vessels is needed without delay.

From: Ride the Ducks of Seattle
To: NTSB
Date: 8/31/2000
Response: Letter mail controlled 09/05/2000 3:59:06 pm mc# 2001221 Please be advised that our DUKW's are leased vehicles provided to us by Ride the Ducks of Branson, MO. All modifications that have been made due to your recent recommendations after the sinking of the Miss Majestic have been implemented by our supplier, Mr. Bob McDowell of Ride the Ducks of Branson. He has reassured us that our leased ducks comply with your recommendation M-00-5. If you have any further questions please contact Mr. Bob McDowell at 2320 west highway 76, Branson, MO 65616.

From: NTSB
To: Ride the Ducks of Seattle
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Metro Ducks
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Metro Ducks
Date: 8/6/2002
Response: On June 5, 2000, as owner of both Chicago Duck Corporation and Metro Ducks, you responded to the Safety Board regarding Safety Recommendation M-00-5, indicating concerns regarding the engineering effort required to satisfy the recommendation and appropriately noting the need for maintenance and operator training for these vessels. In our August 17, 2000, response, the Board agreed that proper maintenance and operator training are important to DUKW safety and indicated that all these issues would be addressed in the Board's final report. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. For your consideration, we have enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations. Although the Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, we have issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. We have deferred further evaluation of your and other operators' response to M-00-5 until after the Board receives and evaluates the Coast Guard's response to the new recommendation. In the interim, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: Metro Ducks
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: The Safety Board appreciates your sincere interest in this recommendation, and while our feasibility study leads us to believe it will be effective, we also understand that it will require a substantial engineering effort to accomplish. Our contracted engineering assessment presented at our Public Forum in December of 1999 was a feasibility study, and was not meant to provide engineering specifications for the modification of a DUKW. Unlike the U.S. Coast Guard and other regulatory agencies that specify and approve changes to equipment. The Safety Board only makes recommendations, and the operations and other appropriate parties must decide their implementation. Because meeting the performance criteria in our recommendation involves retrofitting existing vessels and dealing with their complex hull arrangements, there is a real engineering challenge anticipated on the part of each owner. The Safety Board believes that owners should have the needed flexibility and latitude to modify their vessels to meet the Board's recommendation. Other owners have been corresponding with us and have taken up this challenge. One of the primary purposes of public forum was to bring together the owners and operations not only to hear their views, but also to provide an opportunity for them to network and perhaps cooperate on such challenges. The Safety Board's recommendation is performance based. It would be inappropriate for the Safety Board to require detailed prescriptive specifications on how owners should modify their vessels. The goal is to make these vessels able to withstand flooding in order to prevent recurrence of an accident similar to the one in Arkansas where 13 lives were lost. The Board agrees that proper maintenance and operator training are also important to DUKW safety. These issues will be addressed in the Safety Board's final report, which will also address the probable cause of the accident. The reserve buoyancy recommendation was issued in advance of the final accident report because the Board believed that immediate action was necessary to avoid additional loss of life. The Board continues to believe that M-00-5 is viable, and we urge the Chicago Ducks Corporation and Metro Ducks to pursue its implementation. Pending further response, M-00-5 has been classified "Open--Await Response."

From: Metro Ducks
To: NTSB
Date: 6/5/2000
Response: Please be advised that Chicago Ducks Corp. is the parent company for Metro Ducks. This reply should be considered to be the response from both companies. The addition of water tight Bulkheads as indicated requires the front bulkhead to be located just behind the front wheel wells in order to be effective. This would place the bulkhead in a position where the engine block would be passing through it. The engine is mounted on rubber mounts that allow it to flex under various load conditions. Also the engine itself is not a watertight. There is no current technology that we are aware of which would accomplish this. Bulkheads would also restrict the airflow that the DUKW relies on to cool the engine. Engine cooling is a problem already. Restricting even more airflow would cause higher under hood temperatures and overheating problems. Many operators run with the hoods slightly open to provide additional cooling. We feel that operating with the hoods open is an unsafe practice. It can cause the DUKW to be swamped if it encounters a wave or wake from another boat. It also reduces the effectiveness of the fire fighting system. Even in caes where quick release closing devices are installed, it still requires the attention of the operator and in certain instances may not be accomplished. The addition of floatation foam would also cause many problems. It to would add restricting the airflow as mentioned above. It would also make it impossible to perform regular maintenance on the drive train. The DUKW has a steel hull, if foam were installed the inside could not be properly inspected for corrosion. Also hull repairs could only be accomplished from the outside. The existing hull can be cleaned thoroughly if gasoline or oil happens to leak or spill. If foam were present it would trap the flammable liquids presenting a fire hazard. In order for foam to be effective and not just float out when being submerged, additional structure support would be required. This would also stiffen the hull, which must flex when in the water and expecially on land. Other issues of concern would be how the additional supports and foam would affect the DUKWS ability to not injure its occupants in a crash on land. It is our belief the current re-construction and equipping of the amphibious passenger vessels is not the major issue concerning amphibious passenger vessel safely. We believe continued oversight and inclusion of new methods and technologies are important. We further believe that emphasis must be placed on prevention and preparedness through people. The operation of an amphibious passenger vessel is unique. The standardization and continued of training for the operations and/or crews of amphibious passenger vessels are a vital key in the safe operation of an amphibious passenger vessel. In addition any modifications which would enhance the DUKWS safety on water must also be carefully researched to see how they would impact the overall safety of the DUKW on land, and also allow proper maintenance. Many DUKW's operate in waters only five to twelve feet deep, with an average depth of six feet. The DUKW is 12 feet high at the top of the canopy. It would seem that in these waters it is unlikely for a DUKW to sink. According to the Coast Guard's investigation the causes of the Miss Majestic accident were mostly caused by improper maintenance. Specifically several critical components left uninstalled. When critical components are missing one can not be surprised when the vessel sinks. Your recommendation although made with good intent seems unpractical for this application. We are somewhat surprised that no mention was made as to what actually caused the accident. Which would be to require training for personnel working on the vessels. As it stands now, anyone with no mechanical or marine training may work on these vessels without anyone else being required to inspect or test their work. If you allow someone with no or limited knowledge to work on these vessels you can not hold them accountable for any mistakes that they make. Many DUKW operators are under the belief that any truck or boat mechanic can repair DUKW's. Because of the uniqueness of these vehicles this is not true. Some operators do not have any of their own mechanics and have them serviced at a truck repair shop. A result of this is to have it serviced by the lowest bidder. Just because a boat is unsinkable does not mean that you will avoid loss of life in an accident. I believe that there is a case on file where an unsinkable boat operated by the Coast Guard was swamped and several people died. We would like to have seen the recommendation include something that would prevent a future accident instead of allowing another accident to happen and trying to minimize the losses.

From: NTSB
To: Boston Duck Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Boston Duck Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Board had previously classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 "Open--Acceptable Response" to your company because you had responded that your company was working to implement the recommendation. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. We would appreciate an update on what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations. Thank you for your attention to this matter; we look forward to hearing from you on this safety issue.

From: NTSB
To: Boston Duck Tours
Date: 5/11/2000
Response: The Safety Board is pleased with the cooperation and assistance that BDT has provided during the course of this investigation and appreciates the efforts to improve DUKW safety. Although unable to attend BDT's 3/31/00, presentation, members of the Board's office of marine safety are aware of the alterations in boot seals that you describe in your letter. It is clear that BDT believes the solution to the problem lies in re-engineering the boot seal. It was in recognition of the possibility that other solutions to the problem may be developed that the safety board included the phrase "or equivalent measures" in m-00-5. However, while engineering efforts in this area may provide an improvement in safety, the safety board is concerned that any alternative solution provide at least as much protection as would be provided by adequate built-in reserve buoyancy. The board understands that BDT is working with JMS naval architects/salvage engineers to provide reserve buoyancy to its DUKW's through passive means. The safety board is gratified that BDT has taken such action and commends BDT for its open mindedness and for its willingness to explore practical ways to implement the recommended action. Accordingly, m-00-5 has been classified "open--acceptable response," pending further response from BDT about its progress in implementing the safety recommendation.

From: Boston Duck Tours
To: NTSB
Date: 3/24/2000
Response: In describing the Miss Majestic tragedy, your correspondence of February 18th also pointed to boot seal problems, noting that "the boot on the aft end of the aft driveshaft housing had completely slipped off the housing." later in your letter it is noted that a failed driveshaft boot can be the cause of amphibious vessel flooding. In light of the boot seal issue identified in the investigation regarding the Miss Majestic, BDT strongly believes that safety recommendations regarding boot seal re-engineering and replacement would greatly contribute to the continued safety of the amphibious vehicle tour industry. Moreover, proven technology--currently in use by BDT on all of its amphibious vehicles--exists to address the boot seal deficiencies that led to the miss majestic tragedy. Central to this technology is the double clamping of boot seals. In 1999, BDT implemented a boot seal shaft replacement with a carrier bearing on its entire fleet. This system, which the Boston office of the coast guard has reviewed and approved, is the result of BDT's own research and development efforts. BDT devoted these efforts because it believed that there was substantial room for improvement over the original boot seal system. Others have developed methods designed to address the boot seal issue. BDT supports the development of such other technology - such as restricter plates and diaphragms (which restrict water flow into the vessel) - provided that such methods also involve the double clamping of boot seals. Given the findings regarding the miss majestic and the availability of technology designed to remedy the very factor that was central to the Miss Majestic's sinking, BDT strongly urges the NTSB to consider safety recommendations encouraging all operating companies and amphibious vessel manufacturers/refurbishers to re-engineer and replace their boot seal systems to prevent amphibious vessel flooding. To this end, BDT is prepared to further discuss its technology with the NTSB. BDT has made various other technological and safety improvements to its fleet, which BDT has shared with the national office of the coast guard. We hope that BDT's recommendations will be incorporated in the anticipated national safety standards to be issued by the coast guard for the DUKW vehicle industry. We would welcome the opportunity to discuss our various technological developments with the NTSB. In this regard, enclosed please find an invitation to a presentation being made by BDT on 3/31/00. We encourage any NTSB board members or staff members to attend, learn about our operation, and present any questions that they may have. With respect to the reserve buoyancy recommendations set forth in your letter, in December, 1999 -- two months prior to your letter containing m-00-05 -- BDT engaged JMS naval architects/salvage engineers of Groton, CT ("JMS"). We understand that JMS is the recognized naval architectural firm engaged by the NTSB in connection with m-00-05. BDT first approached JMS on December 8, 1999, the same day that JMS's president, Jack Ringelberg, gave a presentation at the NTSB's amphibious passenger vessel safety public forum meeting held in Memphis, TN. Since that date, JMS has been working with BDT in an effort to develop technology that we hope can be implemented in BDT's amphibious vehicles to address the NTSB's reserve buoyancy recommendations. BDT has worked closely with JMS in an effort to develop the practical implementation of the NTSB's reserve buoyancy recommendations, and I would be happy to discuss with you the extent of our efforts made to date. These efforts include partially tearing apart one of BDT's amphibious vessels for informational and design purposes. BDT intends to continue working with JMS, and will make those approved (united states coast guard) changes that can be practically implemented. Once again, BDT is appreciative of the NTSB's input to assure the continued safety of the amphibious vehicle tour industry. I hope to hear from you in response to this letter.

From: NTSB
To: Sterling Equipment
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Sterling Equipment
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Sterling Equipment, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Sterling Equipment
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: National Park Duck Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: National Park Duck Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including National Park Duck Tours, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: National Park Duck Tours
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: South Padre Water Sports/ Breakaway Cruises
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: South Padre Water Sports/ Breakaway Cruises
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including South Padre Water Sports, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: South Padre Water Sports/ Breakaway Cruises
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Aqua Traks, Inc.
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Aqua Traks, Inc.
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Aqua Traks, Inc., "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Aqua Traks, Inc.
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.
Date: 6/5/2001
Response: The Safety Board understands that Peter Pan has terminated all operations of amphibious passenger vehicles and has no plans on resuming the operation of amphibious passenger vehicles at any location. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified “Closed--No Longer Applicable.”

From: Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 4/9/2001
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 04/13/2001 5:08:28 PM MC# 2010324 1. This will acknowledge receipt of your letter dated April 5, 2001 in reference to our Mr. Steven Larivee’s December 22, 2000 response to the National Transportation Safety Board’s Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Please be advised that Peter Pan has terminated all operations of amphibious passenger vehicles, and we have no plans on resuming the operation of amphibious passenger vehicles at any location.

From: NTSB
To: Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.
Date: 4/5/2001
Response: On August 17, I received a letter from your Office of Safety Recommendations and Accomplishments suggesting our Alvis Stalwart amphibious vehicles use compartmentalization and built in flotation to maintain positive buoyancy in the event of flooding following the sinking of the Miss Majestic (a restored DUKW) and more recently the sinking of the Minnow (an Alvis Stalwart). I responded to this letter on August 22 with our intention to investigate the recommendations from an engineering standpoint. To date, we have given considerable attention to the recommendation and have arrived at the conclusion that due to the limited space below deck, air circulation requirements on the cooling system, and location of the machinery, that compartmentalization and the addition of flotation is not possible without the extensive re-design and engineering of the entire vehicle. While still being of the presence of mind that safety is of utmost concern to not only our company, but certainly to our crew and passengers, I would welcome an opportunity to have either yourself or another representative of the NTSB spend some time with us at our maintenance facility to further look into the problem to see if a mutually feasible and satisfactory solution can be arrived at. At the same time, perhaps you would also like to take a close look at our maintenance program, considering that one of the vessels problems were related to faulty maintenance and the other, a lack of maintenance. While we’re convinced that we are doing an excellent job, an outside opinion of this as well as any additional recommendations would be welcome.

From: Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 12/22/2000
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 12/28/2000 1:11:31 PM MC# 2001824 The Safety Board notes that Peter Pan evaluated the recommendation from an engineering standpoint. To better evaluate your engineering difficulties, the Safety Board requests that you submit details of your engineering analysis showing the various options explored by your company. After reviewing your analysis, the Safety Board’s staff may wish to visit your facility to discuss ways of improving the safety of amphibious passenger vessels. Please note that the Safety Board’s recommendation suggested flotation foam and watertight bulkheads as examples of passive means of providing reserve buoyancy, but stated that other means of providing an equivalent level of safety are also acceptable. Given that an Alvis Stalwart sank on September 18, 2000, on Lake Michigan, the Safety Board is convinced that action to provide reserve buoyancy for amphibious vessels is needed without delay. Pending an update of your efforts in this area, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 remains classified “Open--Acceptable Response.”

From: NTSB
To: Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.
Date: 11/24/2000
Response: The Safety Board understands that Peter Pan conducts an amphibious tour of Baltimore with Alvis Stalwarts, and as the situation stands now, is looking into the matter from an engineering standpoint to determine the feasibility of compartmentalization, and its effects on ventilation and cooling. These actions are important steps toward improving the safety of your vessels. However, the safety board stresses to you the importance of providing reserve buoyancy through passive means in addition to the measures you have already taken. Given the 9/18/00 sinking of an Alvis Stalwart amphibious passenger vessel on Lake Michigan, near Milwaukee, WI, the Safety Board is more convinced than ever that action to provide reserve buoyancy for these types of vessels is needed without delay. The Safety Board is pleased that Peter Pan is currently investigating the engineering needed to provide reserve buoyancy in its Alvis Stalwarts through passive means. The Board urges Peter Pan to continue its efforts. Pending completion of your study and subsequent action to provide reserve buoyancy through passive means, M-00-5 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 8/22/2000
Response: Letter mail controlled 08/29/2000 4:28:06 pm mc# 2001173 Peter Pan conducts an amphibious tour of Baltimore with Alvis Stalwarts. I am in receipt of Mr. Sweedler's letter regarding the recommendations following the Miss Majestic incident and his office's subsequent request for follow-up information from our office. As the situation stands now, we are looking into the matter from an engineering standpoint to determine the feasibility of compartmentalization, and it's effects on ventilation and cooling. In the interim, pending an outcome, we will of course maintain our compliance with all pertinent aspects of CFR 46.

From: NTSB
To: Peter Pan Bus Lines, Inc.
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Cape Cod Duckmobiles
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In addition, following the Miss Majestic accident, the U.S. Coast Guard issued Navigation Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01, Inspection of Amphibious Passenger Carrying Vehicles (APV), to provide inspectors and industry with necessary background information and guidance on the safe operation and equipment requirements for APVs. The Coast Guard and industry have used NVIC 101 for the past 6 years as the primary guidance document to assure the safe outfitting, operation, and inspection of all APVs. In earlier correspondence, you advised the Safety Board that your company was taking action to improve the survivability of your APVs in the event of an accident or incident. Those improvements, in conjunction with the use of NVIC 1-01 as the primary guidance document for all APV inspections and operations, satisfy the intent of the recommendation. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Acceptable Alternate Action.

From: NTSB
To: Cape Cod Duckmobiles
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Board had previously classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 "Open--Acceptable Response" to your company because you had responded that your company was working to implement the recommendation. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. We would appreciate an update on what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations. Thank you for your attention to this matter; we look forward to hearing from you on this safety issue.

From: NTSB
To: Cape Cod Duckmobiles
Date: 11/24/2000
Response: The Safety Board notes that the Cape Cod Duckmobiles is currently in the process of investigating ways to further implement passive safety systems as recommended by the board and will continuously work to make its vehicles as safe as possible and train personnel to operate them accordingly. The board further notes that Cape Cod Duckmobiles has taken several actions to improve the safety of its amphibious vehicles. These actions are important steps toward improving the safety of your vessels. However, the safety board stresses to you the importance of providing reserve buoyancy through passive means in addition to the measures you have already taken. Given the 9/18/00, sinking of an Alvis Stalwart amphibious passenger vessel on Lake Michigan, near Milwaukee, WI, the Safety Board is more convinced than ever that action to provide reserve buoyancy for these types of vessels is needed without delay. Pending notification that you have made the requested alterations and a description of these alterations, M-00-5 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Cape Cod Duckmobiles
To: NTSB
Date: 8/27/2000
Response: Letter mail controlled 09/05/2000 4:00:42 pm mc# 2001222 Cape Cod Duckmobiles is a sightseeing company that has been operating amphibious passenger vessels in Hyannis, MA since 1996. Our fleet is comprised of one DUKW and one LARC. Although we were remiss in composing a formal response to the Safety Board's recommendation, we have worked diligently with our local Coast Guard inspectors and have implemented several safety improvements prior to the start of the 2000 session. Some of the modifications and improvements that we have made to our vehicles are listed below. DUKW 353-18866 (1945 GMC): installation of a drive shaft housing restrictor plate. This plate is constructed of thick rubber and designed to reduce the possibility of uncontrolled flooding by reducing the diameter of the through hull penetration (see photos dscf0041.jpg & dscf0048.jpg on the attached sheet); installation of two bulkheads (one forward and one aft of the driveshaft through hull penetration). Although these bulkheads are not water tight, they have been designed to greatly reduce the possibility of water rushing to the stern in an uncontrolled flooding situation due to rubber boot failure (see photos dscf0045 & dscf46.jpg); installation of a 9" wave/splash-guard around the base of the back deck to reduce the possibility of the stem being swamped; replacement of the original 4" diameter drain plugs with 1" diameter drain plugs (a total of 4 plugs); installation of 5 electric bilge pumps with high water lighted alarm indicators (these pumps will operate even if engine failure occurs) and; installation of one high water audible alarm. Also, please note that the entire underside of this vehicle was replaced with new steel plate in the winter of 1999. LARC (Borg Warner 1961) - installation of 2 audible high water alarms. This vehicle has 3 electric bilge pumps with high water lighted alarm indicators. As owner/operators of Cape Cod Duckmobiles, passenger safety is of utmost importance to us. The tragedy of the Miss Majestic incident and the consequent investigation and findings made public in Memphis, TN by the NTSB have enlightened us to the vulnerabilities of amphibious sightseeing vehicles. We, in conjunction with our local Coast Guard inspectors, are currently in the process of investigating ways to further implement passive safety systems as recommended by the board. We will continuously work to make our vehicles as safe as possible and train our personnel to operate them accordingly. Thank you for your guidance on these matters.

From: NTSB
To: Cape Cod Duckmobiles
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.

From: NTSB
To: Land and Sea Tours
Date: 2/4/2008
Response: On August 17, 2000, the Safety Board requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. The Safety Board advised your company of this action on July 8, 2002, and again requested information on what action, if any, had been taken or planned to implement this recommendation. Because the Safety Board has been unable to confirm that your company has completed action on this issue, Safety Recommendation M-00-5 is classified Closed Unacceptable Action/No Response Received.

From: NTSB
To: Land and Sea Tours
Date: 7/8/2002
Response: On April 2, 2002, the Safety Board met and adopted its final report, Sinking of the Amphibious Passenger Vessel Miss Majestic, Lake Hamilton, near Hot Springs, Arkansas, May 1, 1999. In this report, the Board classified Safety Recommendation M-00-5 to 14 companies, including Land and Sea Tours, "Open--Unacceptable Response" because we have yet to receive any response from you on this issue. The Safety Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure that the public is provided the highest level of safety, and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. The Board again requests to be informed of what action, if any, has been taken or planned to further implement Safety Recommendation M-00-5. Although the Safety Board has not issued any new recommendations directly to the operators of amphibious passenger vehicles, the Board has issued several new recommendations to the U.S. Coast Guard (enclosed) that may affect your operations. For your consideration, we have also enclosed a synopsis of the Board's report, which contains our conclusions and recommendations.

From: NTSB
To: Land and Sea Tours
Date: 8/17/2000
Response: To date your company has not responded to the Safety Board regarding M-00-5. The Board would appreciate learning what action you have taken or have planned to implement this recommendation. A copy of the original recommendation letter is enclosed.