Fire Sweeps Boat On London Duck Tours; Passengers Leap Into The Thames

Alison Newcomb of London’s Metropolitan Police said that the maritime coast guard is investigating. “At the conclusion of that investigation, I anticipate they will make a decision with regards to future tours,” she told ITV. London Duck Tours said it has stopped operating tours on the river until the reason for the fire has been established. “Should technical or safety modifications be required to our fleet, these will be introduced prior to the service recommencing,” Duck Tours said, stressing that it “operates to the highest safety standards.” “London Duck Tours operates a fully modernized fleet of nine vehicles that have been completely rebuilt and refurbished between 2002 and 2012,” it said. “This includes new, purpose built hulls, new engines, computerized systems and steering equipment.” The company said it was fully cooperating with investigators and regulatory authorities. Previous problems Amphibious tour vehicles have run into trouble in the past. In June, a duck boat sank in the British city of Liverpool. Twenty-seven people were taken to the hospital for shock and exposure after that incident. It was the second time the Liverpool tour company, The Yellow Duckmarine, had had a problem with a vehicle — one of them sank in March without any passengers in it. The Yellow Duckmarine, whose passengers have included the Queen and Prince Philip, is not running any tours at the moment, according to its website. Reports said it went into administration and had its road license revoked after the June sinking.

London transport authority tackles tube etiquette with poetry

From Monday until Friday a collection of London poets, including rising star Amy Acre who appeared at this years Latitude festival, will give recitals at some of Londons busiest train and tube stations as part of a wider TfL Travel Better London marketing campaign encouraging commuters to be more considerate towards their fellow travellers. Poets in residence will be performing at nine London stations, including Liverpool Street, Waterloo, London Bridge and Leicester Square, at lunchtime and during the early evening commute for the entire week, with further pop-up performances around the TfL network. TfLs week of poetiquette recitals coincides with National Poetry Day on Thursday 3 October. The London public transport authority, which has a long tradition of promoting poetry on its tube network, has also set up a Tumblr page which invites travellers to submit four-to-six-line poems inspired by their daily commute. Acre said: I think people when theyre on the tube are so in that zone of huddling in and just getting through it and getting to work. Its nice to give people something a bit different and maybe inspire them and make them think in a different way, even if its just for a minute. This project is a great opportunity to get poetry out there to more people that maybe would never listen to it and it wouldnt occur to them that they might like it. The nine poets will be writing topical verses and giving recitals in busking spots at their local station, with Acre performing at London Bridge. The other poets giving twice-daily recitals are Amy McAllister (performing at Angel), Jacqueline Saphra (Canary Wharf), Sarah Wardle (Embankment), Sophie Herxheimer (Knightsbridge), Richard Purnell (Hammersmith), Joolz Sparkes (Leicester Square), Deanna Rodger (Liverpool Street) and Dan Simpson (Waterloo). Acre, McAllister, Simpson, Rodger and Purnell will also be performing at other TfL locations, along with poets Emma Jones, Keith Jarrett, Raymond Antrobus and Richard Marsh. The recitals kick off a wider TfL marketing campaign that will also feature poster advertising across London public transport including tube, bus, rail, trams and the Docklands Light Railway. Poster ads will feature drawings by graphic artists illustrating poetry urging commuters not to drop litter, obstruct train doors and if they are taken ill on the underground, not to push the alarm button but wait and get off at the next station.