Duck tours suspended

Published: Jul. 10, 2010 at 9:14 PM HST|Updated: Jul. 11, 2010 at 3:26 AM HST
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By Duane Shimogawa - bio | email

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) - The fate of Duck Boat Tours is still in limbo. This, after a deadly accident on the Mainland and on Oahu, one exploded.

Hawaii Duck Tours uses World War II amphibious boats that are 60 years old. They started up on Maui and eventually moved to Oahu.

That's because the Coast Guard says new rules allowed the company to run only in protected harbors, like Keehi Lagoon.

We're told a fatal accident about 10 years ago on the Mainland, caused the new regulations. In that incident, 13 people drowned when the boat sank.

After years of no major issues, Duck Boat Tours swam into some trouble this week, including an incident on Oahu.

While trying to start up a boat at a Kakaako warehouse, a flash fire broke out. The operator suffered second degree burns.

The next day on the Delaware River, two people were killed when a barge rammed their duck boat.

The Coast Guard says the Mainland incident had nothing to do with the duck boat suspension here.

"It's an entirely different owner, on East Coast and the owner here only has two vessels, but of course it looks like preliminary information from that casualty was some kind of engine failure or problem, we're going to keep an eye and see how that investigation goes also," Commander Jason Neubauer of the Honolulu Coast Guard Division said.

Visitors are also watching the situation closely.

"It's just a freak accident probably, I have no problem with taking one," California visitor Nathan Foos said. "It was good when I was in Boston."

Hawaii Duck Tours refused to comment on the recent incident.

The Coast Guard took away Hawaii Duck Tours' operating certificate, but they plan on doing a follow-up inspection on Friday.

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