Safety Recommendation M-16-028
Synopsis: On Thursday, September 24, 2015, about 11:11 a.m. Pacific daylight time, the 2005 DUCK 6 amphibious passenger vehicle (APV) was traveling north on the Washington State Route 99 Aurora Bridge in Seattle, Washington. At the same time, a 2009 Motor Coach Industries motorcoach was traveling south in the center lane. The DUCK 6 driver heard a loud noise at the left front of the APV; the vehicle drifted to the right and then veered left suddenly; the driver lost control of the vehicle. The APV crossed the center line into the southbound lanes of oncoming traffic and struck the motorcoach. Three other vehicles were damaged during the crash event: a southbound 2011 Ram Trucks pickup truck and two northbound vehicles—a 2006 Toyota Highlander sport utility vehicle and a 2007 Toyota Tundra pickup truck. As a result of this crash, five motorcoach passengers died. Seventy-one motorcoach and APV occupants reported injuries ranging from minor to serious.
Recommendation: TO THE PASSENGER VESSEL ASSOCIATION: Notify all your amphibious passenger vehicle (APV) operator members of the importance of the following: (1) learning the lessons from the Seattle, Washington, and Boston, Massachusetts, crashes; (2) completing proper maintenance and service bulletin repairs; (3) using the pretrip safety orientation to tell passengers of APVs equipped with passenger seat belts to unbuckle their belts before the APV begins any marine operations; (4) conducting a visual inspection to ensure that passengers have unbuckled their seat belts prior to water entry; (5) reducing the risk of driver distraction by having a tour guide conduct each tour; (6) managing risk in tour operations by addressing such factors as driver distraction, route planning, vehicle characteristics, traffic density, and vehicle speed; and (7) conducting operations according to Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular 1-01 guidance and US Coast Guard safety alerts.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action
Mode: Marine
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: HWY15MH011
Accident Reports:
Report #: HAR-16-02
Accident Date: 9/24/2015
Issue Date: 1/3/2017
Date Closed: 12/7/2018
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: Passenger Vessel Association (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: Passenger Vessel Association
Date: 12/7/2018
Response: We are pleased that you published the recommended membership notification in the June 2018 issue of Foghorn. In addition, we commend you for your ongoing efforts to further address APV safety, including your February 2018 joint summit with the American Bus Association, educational sessions at your annual conference, and your agreement with the USCG to update the NVIC 1-01 guidance. Your efforts exceed the level of implementation we expected for Safety Recommendation M-16-28, which is classified CLOSED--EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION.

From: Passenger Vessel Association
Date: 6/25/2018
Response: -From Gus Gaspardo, 2018 PVA President: This letter is in response to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Safety Recommendation M-16-28 relating to the September 24, 2015 amphibious vehicle collision with a motor coach on a Seattle roadway. In that recommendation the NTSB directed the Passenger Vessel Association (PVA) to communicate with amphibious vehicle operation members about the importance of: • Lessons learned from the Seattle, Washington and Boston, Massachusetts roadway accidents. • Completing proper maintenance and service bulletin repairs. • Using safety pre-trip announcements to tell passengers to unbuckle seat belts before any marine operations. • Conducting a visual inspection to ensure passengers have unbuckled seatbelts prior to the amphibious vehicle entering the water. • Reducing driver distraction by having a tour guide conduct each tour. • Addressing factors such as driver distraction, route planning, vehicle characteristics, traffic density and vehicle speed. • Conducting operations according to Coast Guard Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 1-01 and Coast Guard safety alerts. Amphibious Vehicle Summit On February 28, 2018, PVA, and the American Bus Association (ABA), hosted an Amphibious Vehicle Summit in Alexandria, VA for the purpose of promoting discussion about the above items with and among amphibious vehicle operators. This event successfully brought together approximately 70 representatives from amphibious vehicle operations in the United States, Canada and even Ireland. These individuals included senior management and key operations managers who were responsible for training and maintenance. In addition, representatives from the NTSB attended along with individuals from the Coast Guard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The program for the Summit is attached for your reference. To ensure that this dialogue continues, there are currently discussions underway between PVA, ABA and key amphibious vehicle operators about conducting regular Summits in the future to further understanding and communications on key industry safety and operations issues. In addition, PVA will schedule several educational sessions on safety, preventative maintenance or other relevant topics for amphibious vehicle operators during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends, the association's annual convention. Rewrite/Update of NVIC 1-01 Given that there has been a great deal of technological change in amphibious vehicle design and construction since NVIC 1-01 was released on December 11, 2000, PVA has recommended to the Coast Guard that a task group, made up of amphibious vehicle operators and the Coast Guard, be formed to rewrite/update NVIC 1-01. At the May, 2018 PV A/Coast Guard Quality Partnership Meeting, PVA suggested the a formal working group be created to accomplish this task. The Coast Guard agreed and the next step in this process will be the development of a formal charter agreement between PVA and the Coast Guard. PVA FOGHORN Article The June, 2018 issue of FOGHORN, PVA's monthly membership publication, published an article written by PVA Director of Regulatory Affairs and Risk Management, Eric Christensen entitled "Focus on Amphibious Passenger Vessels to Improve Safety. This article discussed recent amphibious vehicle accidents and recent NTSB investigations and findings. A copy of this article is attached for your reference. We believe that we have fully met the parameters of recommendation M-16-28. As indicated, we plan to continue efforts to communicate with amphibious vehicle operators to emphasizing safe practices and sharing lessons learned. We request that Recommendation M-16-28 be considered Closed - Acceptable Action by the NTSB. Your consideration is appreciated.

From: NTSB
To: Passenger Vessel Association
Date: 1/3/2017
Response: On November 15, 2016, the NTSB adopted its report concerning the September 24, 2015, crash in which an amphibious passenger vehicle collided with a motorcoach in Seattle, Washington.1 Additional information about this crash and the resulting recommendations may be found in the report of the investigation, which can be accessed at our website,, under report number NTSB/HAR-16/02. As a result of this investigation, we issued 10 new recommendations, including 3 to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2 to the United States Coast Guard, 3 to Ride the Ducks International, 1 to Ride the Ducks of Seattle, and the following recommendation to the Passenger Vessel Association.