The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has cleared London Duck Tours to resume trips along the Thames, following last year’s mid-cruise fire.
Two vessels have been approved for use, following a Marine Accident Investigation Branch report, which pinpointed the cause of the blaze. It is believed that the boats’ buoyancy foam was to blame for the accidents, which resulted in 30 people being rescued and some passengers jumping into the Thames to avoid the flames.
An MCA spokesperson told the BBC: “The operator has been working to demonstrate that two of its vessels have been improved sufficiently to meet our safety requirements.
“We believe that we should shortly be in a position to issue a short-term certificate to allow them to operate for a period of three months.”
The company said in a statement on its website that it would be announcing the date of its return to the river “shortly”, with a normal service set to resume “as soon as possible”.
Three people were rescued from their sinking yacht in the Indian Ocean – thanks to assistance from the Falmouth Coastguard.
The crew – all British – had been desperately pumping and bailing out the UK-registered vessel as it began taking on water after suffering serious damage to its main rudder.
Falmouth Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) received an emergency positioning beacon alert (EPIRB) from the 45ft yacht at 0830 yesterday morning.
Falmouth MRCC asked the captain of a tanker in the region – the Maersk Mediterranean – to divert to the yacht’s location, around 300 miles south of the Seychelles.
Bad weather, with rough seas and wind speeds in excess of 25 knots, meant the ship’s progress was slower than normal, and the yacht’s crew were preparing to abandon ship and take to a life raft when they were finally rescued at around 0045 this morning.
The Falmouth MRCC had also alerted nearby authorities, including the Seychelles Coastguard, and other resources in the region, but the yacht’s remote location meant that a rapid rescue was not possible.
Falmouth Coastguard Watch Manager, Martin Bidmead, said: ‘We are very relieved that the Maersk Mediterranean was able to reach this yacht in time and rescue the three people on board.
‘As first point of contact for the EPIRB alert, we were able to coordinate the rescue remotely, staying in contact with the yacht and updating crew with the progress of the rescue.’
All three people on board are reported as being uninjured.
Picture: A Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre Operations room
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