Duck boat trips to continue
Austin Duck Adventures will continue to operate in the wake of the death of two passengers on a stalled duck boat in Philadelphia this week, the owner said Friday.
On Tuesday, Philadelphians witnessed a barge crash into a stalled duck boat belonging to Ride the Ducks, a Norcross, Ga., company. Two passengers were killed and several injured. Ride the Ducks suspended operations at its five other locations — Branson, Mo.; Newport, Ky.; San Francisco; Stone Mountain Park, Ga.; and Seattle, according to the company’s website.
But Austin Duck Adventures, which is independently owned by Paul Mahler, will continue to operate. Mahler says other duck boats are often retrofitted World War II amphibious vehicles; his two duck boats date to 2007, when he got rid of his three old duck boats and bought HydraTerras.
He said the Hydra-Terras are certified by the U.S. Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board. And he said the new diesel-powered Hydra-Terras are unlikely to stall like the Philadelphia boats, which contributed to the crash.
“I’m very confident in our vehicles,” he said, and described them as “unsinkable.”
He said he had been approached by Ride the Ducks several years ago to open a franchise but turned down