Missouri tragedy saddening - local duck tour operator
The Owner/Manager of Rotorua Duck Tours, Trevor Weir, says a Duck tour operation in the United States involved in a lake tragedy operated in different conditions to those of the local operation.
Seventeen people died when one of two Duck boats went under during stormy weather on Table Rock Lake last Thursday. Survivors have said that even though the conditions were rough, the passengers were told they did not have to where safety equipment.
Trevor Weir told The Mud that the tragedy in Missouri was a very a very unfortunate and saddening set of circumstances.
“It is obvious that the incident occurred in extreme weather conditions where they should not have been operating in.”
He said that Rotorua Duck Tours Ltd had been operating its amphibian duck tours safely in Rotorua and on the lakes for the last 15 years. During that time, it had put through around 300,000 clients and had done so safely with no on water incidences.
“The lakes that we operate on are crater lakes and are very calm. Maritime New Zealand has set strict operating parameters and guidelines which we follow, this includes not operating in wave height exceeding 400 millimetres.
“During our tours we are never any further from shore than 300 metres from shore. Our drivers also go through an extensive training period of around 3-6 months before being signed off by Maritime New Zealand.
Maritime New Zealand audits the company’s operations regularly and it also undergo checks by independent auditors to maintain and continuously improve its safety and operating procedures.
However, he added that if equipment, any equipment is operated outside of its normal operating guidelines then the potential for things to go awry increase this is the same with the Ducks.