The company says it agrees with the action and had previously announced it was suspending operations until the vehicles are deemed “roadworthy and safe”, said Brian Tracey, owner of Ride the Ducks of Seattle.
“On account of the likelihood of proceeding with wellbeing issues and a present absence of certainty encompassing the organization’s operations, we trust it is critical to act promptly to ensure people in general security”, commission executive David Danner said.
During Monday’s meeting of the state Utilities and Transportation Commission, state investigators said it appeared that despite a service bulletin Ride the Ducks global had issued in 2013, the Seattle affiliate had not repaired axles on any of its vehicles.
The amphibious vehicle involved in the crash known as Duck No. 6 underwent regular annual examinations by a federally certified inspector, most recently in 2015 and 2014, and met federal standards, said Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission spokeswoman Amanda Maxwell.
The vehicle involved in the collision did not receive recommended repairs to its axle, crash investigators said.
Mayor Ed Murray and Governor Jay Inslee released a statement Sunday night calling for a full inspection of all “Ride the Ducks” vehicles.
The complaint also noted that an area of concern in the UTC’s investigation is “a potentially risky failure point in the axle housing of (Ride the Ducks’) tour vehicles”.
An emergency official stands near a charter bus, left, and a “Ride…”
Its other affiliates and licensees – in Philadelphia; Stone Mountain Park, Georgia; Branson, Missouri; and Newport, Kentucky – had all complied, the company said.
The NTSB’s finding came as medical authorities said that a 5th foreign student injured in the crash died on Sunday. At least 13 people remained hospitalized. They were among about 45 students and staff from North Seattle College who were on the bus on the six lane bridge with no median when the tourist-carrying duck boat swerved into it.
It’s still unclear whether Ride the Ducks of Seattle was in receipt of that warning.
“We need to verify that and understand what it means”, said Pratt. Tour companies in Boston and Miami said Monday that their vehicles are different from Seattle’s and were not subject to the 2013 service bulletin.