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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.
TO THE UNITED STATES COAST GUARD: Distribute a safety alert on amphibious passenger vehicle operations that addresses the role of risk assessment to mitigate driver distraction, as well as the need to tell passengers to remove seat belts before waterborne operations begin.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Open - Acceptable Response
Seattle, WA, United States
Preliminary Report - Highway - HWY15MH011
Amphibious Passenger Vehicle DUCK 6 Lane Crossover Collision With Motorcoach on State Route 99, Aurora Bridge
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
USCG (Open - Acceptable Response)
Safety Recommendation History
We note that you are developing a safety alert that will include the recommended discussions about risk assessment to mitigate driver distraction and safe seat belt use. Pending publication of the alert, Safety Recommendation M-16-27 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.
-From Charles W. Ray, Vice Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Commandant for Operations: I concur with this recommendation. The Coast Guard is preparing a Safety Alert that discusses findings from the NTSB report regarding the amphibious passenger vehicle casualty specifically the topics identified in this recommendation. I will update the Board when the Safety Alert is finalized and distributed to the public.
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, http://www.ntsb.gov, 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, 3 to Ride the Ducks International, 1 to Ride the Ducks of Seattle, 1 to the Passenger Vessel Association, and the following 2 recommendations to the United States Coast Guard.
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