Duck boats still touring in Austin after deadly Seattle crash

Austin Duck Adventures tour bus.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — After a deadly duck boat tour in Seattle, some critics of the duck boats say the vehicles are too big for city streets. But Austin Duck Adventures say they’re making sure their riders stay safe on the tour.

Making duck sounds is a must on this bus that transforms into a boat. The Law family is visiting from Nashville, getting a tour of the city with Austin Duck Adventures.
They said their trip was safe, but they understand how accidents can happen.

“I can see how that could happen easily with traffic and everything. The streets are so congested here, I mean Austin is growing so quickly with the traffic,” says Valentine Law.

Bob Ojeda has been leading these duck bus tours for eight years, with his passengers’ safety in mind.

“We’re traveling at such a slow speed,” says Ojeda, only about 5 miles per hour.

All three duck boats have seven mirrors to see all angles, and one of those boats has a camera in the back. The company’s owner says these drivers don’t get behind the wheel
without training.

“They go through a safety program and we do that quarterly and it’s also inspected by Game Wardens,” says Paul Mahler, Owner/President of Austin Duck Adventures.

Austin Duck Adventures is also inspected by the Department of Transportation every year. Drivers also have a commercial license, which is why the Law’s think these tours should stick around.

“These are no larger than semi trucks or metro buses and it’s a fantastic way to see the city,” says Valentine.

Mahler says Austin Duck Adventures has been operating for 16 years, with no major accidents or serious injuries.

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